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Feds push for tracking cell phones
CNET ^ | 11 February, 2010 | Declan McCullagh

Posted on 02/12/2010 6:29:50 AM PST by marktwain

Two years ago, when the FBI was stymied by a band of armed robbers known as the "Scarecrow Bandits" that had robbed more than 20 Texas banks, it came up with a novel method of locating the thieves.

FBI agents obtained logs from mobile phone companies corresponding to what their cellular towers had recorded at the time of a dozen different bank robberies in the Dallas area. The voluminous records showed that two phones had made calls around the time of all 12 heists, and that those phones belonged to men named Tony Hewitt and Corey Duffey. A jury eventually convicted the duo of multiple bank robbery and weapons charges.

Even though police are tapping into the locations of mobile phones thousands of times a year, the legal ground rules remain unclear, and federal privacy laws written a generation ago are ambiguous at best. On Friday, the first federal appeals court to consider the topic will hear oral arguments (PDF) in a case that could establish new standards for locating wireless devices.

In that case, the Obama administration has argued that warrantless tracking is permitted because Americans enjoy no "reasonable expectation of privacy" in their--or at least their cell phones'--whereabouts. U.S. Department of Justice lawyers say that "a customer's Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when the phone company reveals to the government its own records" that show where a mobile device placed and received calls.

Those claims have alarmed the ACLU and other civil liberties groups, which have opposed the Justice Department's request and plan to tell the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia that Americans' privacy deserves more protection and judicial oversight than what the administration has proposed.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.cnet.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bhodoj; cellphone; fourthamendment; government; gps; gpstracking; telecom; tracking; warrantlesssearch
Gee, the Federal Government requires that cell phones have gps receivers in them, and makes sure that you have no provision to turn them off. Now the Obama administration insists that you have no "expectation of privacy" about the location of your cell phone.

I wonder if the leftists who said President Bush was shredding our Constitutional rights will protest this.

1 posted on 02/12/2010 6:29:50 AM PST by marktwain
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To: marktwain

I wonder if the leftists who said President Bush was shredding our Constitutional rights will protest this.
_______________________

Naw, they will obey their Master 0bama.


2 posted on 02/12/2010 6:32:16 AM PST by unkus
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To: marktwain

Maybe they look at it like it was a land-line phone, one that has a permanent, non-changing location. Besides, it’s just a continuation/result of homeland defense and what the Bush admin started. I don’t think anyone thought it would just end with a new administration, I doubt it will end with the next admin. I guess, if you’re using a federally provided frequency/BW, they think they should be able to have some control.


3 posted on 02/12/2010 6:40:35 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different)
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To: marktwain

I could care less what they track, but it is amazing that these are the same un-American a-holes who complained about Bush using this method to track terrorists.


4 posted on 02/12/2010 6:41:42 AM PST by mortal19440
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To: marktwain

If there’s “no expectation of privacy” then shouldn’t we mere citizens be able to track our congresscritters’ whereabouts? Or any other government official’s, for that matter?


5 posted on 02/12/2010 6:43:04 AM PST by Grut
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To: Grut

Wake up. There is ‘no expectation of privacy’ for us peons. The politicians are above us all!


6 posted on 02/12/2010 6:45:51 AM PST by originalbuckeye
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To: marktwain

7 posted on 02/12/2010 6:54:40 AM PST by Eye of Unk ("Either you are with us or you are for the terrorists." ~~George W. Bush)
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To: Grut

Yep, 24/7 on a gis-enabled map with tracking history.

Then we’d know if it was indeed Ingmar Guandique who did it.


8 posted on 02/12/2010 7:04:04 AM PST by DBrow
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To: marktwain

This would enable the Fed to track law abiding citizens. Criminals will just stop off and get a go phone and ditch it after they do their deeds.


9 posted on 02/12/2010 7:08:42 AM PST by IamConservative (Liberty is all a good man needs to succeed.)
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To: stuartcr

“you’re using a federally provided frequency/BW”

The government didn’t create that frequency.


10 posted on 02/12/2010 7:11:39 AM PST by HereInTheHeartland (The End of an Error - 01/20/2013)
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To: HereInTheHeartland

No, but they cell mfgs have to get FCC licensing/approval before they can sell their product, and the fed govt allocates the freq and BW.


11 posted on 02/12/2010 7:25:42 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different)
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To: marktwain

Just one more reason we don’t own one.


12 posted on 02/12/2010 7:27:25 AM PST by Pilated
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To: marktwain

Thank God that fascist Bushitler is out of the White House. (sarcasm)


13 posted on 02/12/2010 7:33:00 AM PST by CarWashMan
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To: Pilated

I certainly wouldn’t if I thought I were a person of interest.


14 posted on 02/12/2010 7:47:59 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different)
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To: marktwain

As a result, I sense a huge drop in future phone sales, and more job losses.


15 posted on 02/12/2010 8:04:20 AM PST by Politicalmom (Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. -- James Madison)
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To: Politicalmom

I doubt that, the cell folks will keep inundating us with new aps and 24/7 advertising. Their primary market targets probably won’t care.


16 posted on 02/12/2010 8:30:43 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different)
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To: stuartcr

It’s not that we are “interesting” We just have nothing to say to any one when we are busy or not. Our home office hours are M - F 9am to 5pm if you can’t reach me during these hours on my land line then I don’t need to talk with you.


17 posted on 02/12/2010 8:30:53 AM PST by Pilated
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To: Pilated

By person of interest, I meant someone the fed govt or law enforcement has an interest in tracking, usually someone with criminal intent.


18 posted on 02/12/2010 8:35:11 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different)
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To: stuartcr

We are not criminals by any means but I still will not use a cell phone.


19 posted on 02/12/2010 8:39:18 AM PST by Pilated
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To: Pilated

Good for you. That way you won’t contract ear cancer or brain tumors.


20 posted on 02/12/2010 8:46:20 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different)
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To: IamConservative; All

This would enable the Fed to track law abiding citizens. Criminals will just stop off and get a go phone and ditch it after they do their deeds.


So we give the “undie bomber” citizen rights he is not entitled to, yet we are taking them away from law-abiding citizens?


21 posted on 02/14/2010 8:52:36 AM PST by bushwon ("If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait till it is free"--PJ O'rourke)
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