Just when you thought the kinder gentler Obama administration would end things like government intrusions into our phone calls there is a court case going on right now that could take us to a place we shouldn’t be. The key to this is to remember that every time your cell signal bounces off a new tower it essentially leaves behind a digital breadcrumb that allows investigators the ability to know where you were and when you were there.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing a case brought by federal lawyers seeking the legal authority for the police to demand cell phone location data without showing probable cause to a judge or magistrate.
According to The technology blog hilliconvalley, “The trial centers around an investigation last year by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF). The agency requested to tap suspects’ cell phone data to determine where a likely drug deal might occur, but a federal magistrate ruled it lacked sufficient warrant for the request.
Ultimately, the judge told the Justice Department it needed a search warrant to obtain those records, and that it had to satisfy strict tests of probable cause to gain access to information that court described as incredibly private. However, the Justice Department has since appealed that ruling, stressing users on cell phones have “no reasonable expectation of privacy.”
I don’t know about you, but when I’m carrying my phone or talking on my phone I do believe that I have an expectation of privacy. I pay for the phone and the service.
When it comes down to it the average citizen has very little ability to stop these things once they get moving but don’t be afraid to fire off an email or phone caller to your congressman.