Capdiamont\’s Weblog

FBI Tracks Suspects’ Cell Phones Without a Warrant –
Monday 22 Feb 2010, 01:27
Filed under: Electronics and Computers

Amid all the furor over the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program a few years ago, a mini-revolt was brewing over another type of federal snooping that was getting no public attention at all. Federal prosecutors were seeking what seemed to be unusually sensitive records: internal data from telecommunications companies that showed the locations of their customers’ cell phones—sometimes in real time, sometimes after the fact. The prosecutors said they needed the records to trace the movements of suspected drug traffickers, human smugglers, even corrupt public officials. But many federal magistrates—whose job is to sign off on search warrants and handle other routine court duties—were spooked by the requests. Some in New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas balked. Prosecutors “were using the cell phone as a surreptitious tracking device,” said Stephen W. Smith, a federal magistrate in Houston. “And I started asking the U.S. Attorney’s Office, ‘What is the legal authority for this? What is the legal standard for getting this information?’ “

via FBI Tracks Suspects’ Cell Phones Without a Warrant –



Of greater and more pressing concern, Cap, is the upcoming decision by the Cal State Supreme court on whether or not police officers can search electronic devices during a traffic stop or after (or before) they have placed someone under arrest.

Comment by WatchOut

Did see that one, I know border patrol likes to seize electronic items at the border, or upon entry to the us.

Comment by capdiamont

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