Surveillance State: Warrantless Cell Tracking Now Legal

One more thing to check off in that very short list of “Reasonable Expectations of Privacy”. Whats Next I wonder? -SF

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A split federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that police do not need a search warrant before obtaining cell tower location data that can trace the long-term movements of a suspect’s mobile phone, while conceding that law had come “unmoored” from society’s notions of privacy.

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, whose jurisdiction includes Virginia and Maryland, ruled 12 to 3 that police can obtain “cell site” location information — or CSLI — under decades-old rules that allow authorities to collect business or “third party” records with a court order, such as banking transactions or numbers dialed from a landline phone.

“The Supreme Court may in the future limit, or even eliminate, the third-party doctrine. Congress may act to require a warrant for CSLI. But without a change in controlling law, we cannot conclude that the Government violated the Fourth Amendment in this case,” Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote for the majority.

Motz said that arguments by two men convicted in armed robberies around Baltimore — who believed search warrants should be required for their cell tower location data — would conflict with established Supreme Court doctrine and recent rulings by federal appellate courts in Florida and Cincinnati, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

Read the Original Article at Washington Post

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  1. Pingback: Surveillance State: Warrantless Cell Tracking Now Legal — Hammerhead Combat Systems | The Missal

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