Bill to Require Warrant for Location Tracking Introduced in Congress
Rep. Ron Wyden and others have introduced the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (H.R. 2168, available here) requiring cops to get a warrant based on probable cause to track your location via your cell phone or other device.
The ACLU explains:
The danger that unregulated location tracking poses to American’s privacy is real, immediate and universal. Because of the prevalence of mobile phones in modern society, every American is carrying a portable tracking device, one that can be used to reveal their current and past location. These devices store our every move. Whether it is a visit to a therapist or liquor store, church or gun range, many individuals’ locations will be available either in real time or months later.
Because of the sensitivity and invasiveness of these records, law enforcement agents should always be required to obtain a warrant and show probable cause, no matter the technology employed or the age of the records.
The bill needs additional sponsors, so please contact your Representatives in Congress and ask them to sign on. [More...]
As to why a law is necessary, the ACLU says the Executive Branch is up to its usual tricks:
While the Department of Justice has issued recommendations setting out when prosecutors should show probable cause, United States Attorneys Offices are apparently free to ignore these recommendations, and some have chosen to do so. Worse the government seems to have engaged in a coordinated effort to prevent the creation of a uniform standard by refusing to seek appellate court decisions on the issue. This legal maneuvering has prevented public debate and allowed a practice that is not consistent with our constitutional principles to become entrenched.
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