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Appeals court in Phila.: Warrant may be needed to track cell phones


Slayer of the DP Newsbot
DP Veteran
Aug 27, 2005
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Houston, TX
Political Leaning
A federal appeals court in Philadelphia ruled Tuesday that the government may need a warrant when trying to obtain phone records that show a person's location.

It was not a clear victory for privacy advocates, but it kept open a door that law enforcement had wanted to slam shut.

Kevin Bankston, a senior staff lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the appeals court recognized that there were circumstances that fall under the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

"The court rejected the argument that everyone who uses a cell phone has volunteered to be tracked," Bankston said.

So the question here is can the government access records, without a warrant, that give away your location? This decision went against the government, but other decisions have gone for the government. This is going to eventually be resolved, one way or the other, by the Supreme Court.

My own answer is that, if there is no suspicion, then where I go is none of the government's damn business. If there is, then they had better obtain a warrant. Otherwise, this constitutes an unreasonable search. A warrant is the only thing that makes the search reasonable, and allows us to be safe, knowing that we are not being targeted just because we hold political views that differ from the government's views. That has happened before, many times. It cannot be allowed to happen again.

Article is here.
I think the government should need a warrant whenever its acting against its people in a manner such as surveillance or tracking; particularly if they're doing it electronically. There has been a lot of technology that came up and now presents different scenarios than what could have been originally considered. However, it seems that we're taking on standard that as these new technologies become available, that the government automatically has just use of them. I think it should be opposite, the government still needs permission to act against us. That's it. The purpose of the fourth is to state that a man has right to secure his person, affects, property, etc. against unreasonable search and seizure. I would call electronic surveillance and tracking to be unreasonable against a standard Joe. Our papers are more than just our personal papers, this is our personal data. Lots of places and government agencies data mine these days, and I also think that practice needs to be capped.

If I've done something wrong and the government needs to keep track on me; they can present what evidence they have to a judge and he can deem if it's legitimate. I don't want the government unleashed in terms of tracking, surveillance, and data mining. They're going to need to get permission, otherwise it ain't their business.
We can't be searched unless we give permission or unless you have a warrant or reasonable cause (like an expected life or death situation that you can't wait for a warrant for). If you don't like it then change the constitution.
Court allows warrantless cell location tracking

In the first decision of its kind, a Philadelphia appeals court agreed with the Obama administration that no search warrant--signed by a judge based on a belief that there was probable cause to suspect criminal activity--was necessary for police to obtain logs showing where a cell phone user had traveled.

A three-judge panel of the Third Circuit said (PDF) tracking cell phones "does not require the traditional probable-cause determination" enshrined in the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits government agencies from conducting "unreasonable" searches. The court's decision, however, was focused on which federal privacy statutes apply.

Ah more big brother just what I always wanted.

Court allows warrantless cell location tracking | Privacy Inc. - CNET News
I believe the tracking of a person for unspecified reason with a warrant after showing probable cause may be Unconstitutional under the 4th and 5th Amendment that states: the government must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person according to the law. Due process holds the government subservient to the law of the land, protecting individual persons from the state:

The 4th says:The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. ”

The 5th states: Due process has also been frequently interpreted as limiting laws and legal proceedings (see substantive due process), so judges - instead of legislators - may define and guarantee fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty. This interpretation has proven controversial, and is analogous to the concepts of natural justice, and procedural justice used in various other jurisdictions. It is also stated that the government shall not be unfair to the people.

It may be that it is covered elsewhere also you pick one. What I think is being fished for is the right of Big Brother here to act as the KGB in the Soviet Union and the East German Stasi Obama hass already ask people to spy on your neighbors which smacks of the Block Wardens of the NAZi era.

Or the John Birch Society . If your Mommy is a commie then y9u got to turn her in,.

Or in this case Turn Obama in, but to whom?
Moderator's Warning:
Threads merged.

Also an interesting look at how news can be reported in two entirely different ways while remaining factually accurate.
hold on- whats reasonable mean? Whos standard ? Uncle Eavesdroper the sam? Well I dont want to get on that carriers line I will respectively sign where it says- I OPT OUT. Remember when the telephone carriers turned over records VOLUNTARILY to the GOVERNMENT cause they was a hep'in US OUT. YOU think they will let us know if they do that again? NO it was to danged embarrising for everyone. I say NOVEMBER 2010 cant come quick enough to BOOT this dangerous government out and start finding people who still think its ok to tell the Government NO! HELL NO!
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