Skip to comments.Government can grab cell phone location records without warrant, appeals court says
Posted on 07/31/2013 8:20:53 AM PDT by Whenifhow
In a major victory for the Justice Department over privacy advocates, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that government agencies can collect records showing the location of an individual's cell phone without obtaining a warrant.
The 2-1 ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld the Justice Department's argument that "historical" records showing the location of cell phones, gleaned from cell site location towers, are not protected by the Fourth Amendment.
A key basis for the ruling: The use of cell phones is "entirely voluntarily" and therefore individuals who use them have forfeited the right to constitutional protection for records showing where they have been used, the court held.
"The Government does not require a member of the public to own or carry a phone," wrote U.S. Judge Edith Brown Clement in an opinion joined by U.S. Judge Dennis Reavley. The opinion continued: "Because a cell phone user makes a choice to get a phone, to select a particular service provider, and to make a call, and because he knows that call conveys cell site information ... he voluntarily conveys his cell site data each time he makes a call."
(Excerpt) Read more at investigations.nbcnews.com ...
You've got to be kidding. By the same logic, use of a landline telephone is completely voluntary, and therefore the government can listen in on everyone's phone calls without a warrant.
Yeah, I thought Health insurance was voluntary too!
That’s as specious as the original argument in Smith vs. VA that we “voluntarily” “give up” the phone number of the person we’re calling, which somehow makes it public property.
oops Smith vs MD.
If you “voluntarily” write a letter or whisper sweet nothings to your wife this too is unprotected because you did it knowing that the NSA can reach out and touch you where and when they like. Welcome to Amerika.
By the same logic, use of a landline telephone is completely voluntary, and therefore the government can listen in on everyone's phone calls without a warrant.
Well said, Thane_Banquo. Apparently, if we voluntarily do anything, we voluntarily throw away our Fourth Amendment rights.
Let’s see what this means:
The government doesn’t require me to write a letter...
The government doesn’t require me to make a phone call..
The government doesn’t require me to call my lawyer...
The government doesn’t require me to drive a car, take a plane, talk to my family, friends, business associates...
Looks like everything is free game except what the government requires, like my taxes. So anything with the IRS they can’t tap or track.
That is the most idiotic conclusion possible in a privacy case. Carrying a purse or briefcase, is "entirely voluntary" and the government doesn't require you to use them, but it has already been established that the government may not invade the privacy of those items. A cell phone that you carry to facilitate the functions of your employment or private life is no different.
Ruling is marginally correct, but the logic is seriously flawed.
Proper logic follows the fact that the cell phone records are property of the telephone company. It is the company’s private property, and if they WANT to give it away, they can. However, since it is private property, if they do NOT WANT to give the records away, a warrant is required.
Face it, we live in a lawless nation, ruled by the whim of government lords.
Can the phone company then sell location information? If there’s no privacy concerns, then it should be able to provide that information to anyone.
We live in a burgeoning police state, where the elites are increasingly using their powers to prevent any opposition to their tyrannical whims.
Owning a landline is completely voluntary, and therefore the government can listen in on anything the microphone picks up whether a call is made or not. And how sure are you that the signal from the microphone can't be picked up over the line?
One place I visited regularly for work had phones with a button in the middle of the handset which physically disconnected the microphone if it wasn't pressed. About five minutes into a phone call your finger would cramp pretty bad.
Does this logic apply to ObamaCare? We do not choose anything associated with it, but they demand all our healthcare records?
Is that constitutional?
Of course not, unless you are Justice Roberts.
Yes.. yes.. it is all starting to make sense...NOT!
With this logic, ANYTHING you do is voluntary!
Going to the doctor.. all those HIPAA forms declaring Privacy.. ha ha ha... you are going to the doctor voluntarily!
Those forms are a sham.
Honestly this country has already exceeded the monitoring in
George Orwells’ “1984”!
A person’s use of a cell phone is voluntary?
Using a number owned by the subscriber.
Using a device owned by the subscriber.
Using a service that is a private organization, who interconnects to other private organizations, who connect a transmission to a local exchange, who in turn connect the call between two parties.
All the equipment and services are private individuals or entities.
There should be no breach of private communcations except pursuant to 4, 5 and 1 ammendments.
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