White House Says Feds Should Have Unfettered Access To Mobile Phone Location Info

from the *sigh* dept

Many civil libertarians were hopeful that the Obama administration would be a lot more reasonable on certain issues, like warrantless wiretapping and surveillance of Americans. So far, that hasn't really been the case. The new administration has already sided with the old on the legality of warrantless wiretapping, and is now saying that it shouldn't need a warrant to demand location records from mobile phone providers. This certainly seems like the sort of private info that, under the 4th Amendment, would require a warrant, but not according to the administration(s). It feels that mobile phone providers should freely hand over records of what mobile phone tower any phone was connected to, even without the administration bothering to get a warrant (i.e., whenever and for whomever it wants to keep tabs on). This is tremendously problematic if you believe in the basic principles of the 4th Amendment. The EFF and the ACLU have asked a court to stop this practice, and it's rather disappointing that the administration is pushing in the other direction.

Filed Under: 4th amendment, civil liberties, location, privacy, white house

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  1. identicon
    Fred, 20 Mar 2009 @ 4:43pm

    Big Bro-ther is in the House!

    Tis no surprise here. The left claimed to have the moral high ground on privacy, but indeed, they are actually more interested in your business than W ever cared to be.

    How else can they seize more of what you earn, if they can't electronically track you?

    F'r instance, "use tax" on out of state purchases is only viable when there is an electronic audit trail for the tax board to use against the buyer. Try collecting that $.85 on paper, but collect that $85.00 over 100 purchases for the year, add on fines, and you've got a huge revenue source for spreading the wealth around. Isn't it convenient that Ebay now mandates Paypal? No more off-the-books income for the masses.

    With GPS tracking, not only will it become easier for the state to assess virtual child support payments (an automatic lien on your person at 18% interest), but to establish state of residence (the better to tax you with) and trump you up on newly invented interstate commerce violations. Oh yes, they're coming. Imagine the cigarette cartons with RFID chips embedded...

    Sure, it sounds paranoid. But we've come from a place where smoking was permitted everywhere, to a society where plastic bags are banned, dogs are lo-jacked, indian mascots and coke machines are evicted from school campuses, law enforcement officers lose their jobs ex-post-facto over misdemeanor domestic battery, and MSNBC can act as judge, jury and executioner for thought crimes.

    Its only a matter of time before they come for you.

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