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Prosecution denied request of cell tower records

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jhup
Senior Member
 

Prosecution denied request of cell tower records

Post Posted: Dec 14, 10 21:17

www.law.com/jsp/lawtec...2476150643

A federal court judge recently denied a prosecutor's request under the Stored Communications Act to have a cell phone service provider give the government information showing which cell towers a certain cell phone was closest to over a period of 60 days.
 
 
  

hcso1510
Senior Member
 

Re: Prosecution denied request of cell tower records

Post Posted: Dec 15, 10 08:51

I take it the prosecuter was asking based upon reasonable and articulable facts? There they go again. That mean old law enforcement trying to roll over john q. citizen without any proof.

I don't know if there is any case law on this, but down the road I can see needing a search warrant for an officer or examiner to check a jpeg for geotagging information.

Checks and balances can be frustrating!  
 
  

gblack
Member
 

Re: Prosecution denied request of cell tower records

Post Posted: Dec 15, 10 22:25

- hcso1510
I take it the prosecuter was asking based upon reasonable and articulable facts? There they go again. That mean old law enforcement trying to roll over john q. citizen without any proof.


We don't actually know that based on the article alone, but that's not really the point. As a former member of LE, I have to put on my citizen's hat for this one - the Stored Communications Act is woefully outdated. Within just the past year we're seeing instances where Federal judges are making examples in cases and sending a clear message that Congress needs to update the SCA to account for modern scenarios. Granted, it would have been hard for Congressmen, who rarely even know how to turn on a computer, to envision what technology would bring 10 or 20 years after they created the law, but they did a poor job of future-proofing it and an even poorer job of representing the public by not updating it yet. Within the past ten years or so, the government has used the holes in the SCA to obtain information that they would not otherwise be able to reasonably obtain. Anyone who values privacy should have a serious problem with that.
_________________
Geoff 
 
  

hcso1510
Senior Member
 

Re: Prosecution denied request of cell tower records

Post Posted: Dec 16, 10 07:53

[/quote]Within the past ten years or so, the government has used the holes in the SCA to obtain information that they would not otherwise be able to reasonably obtain. Anyone who values privacy should have a serious problem with that.[quote]


I recall the first time I was told that I didn't need probable cause to get phone records. I thought that was to good to be true. I know that I can make a lot of stuff sound "reasonable" and I guess there needs to be safeguards to that, but I believe having to provide a search warrant to obtain cell tower data is a bit over the top.

Todays lawmakers are not forward thinking. If you look at New York V. Belton in reference to closed containers you can see that it's decision is pre cell phone. However I have spoken to many officers that think computers and cell phones are covered under Belkin because they are closed containers. I always ask them how can it be covered if cell phones were not available to the public when that decision was made?


There are penalties to illegally obtaining records. From time to time I see those in LE getting fired for abusing NCIC, but I don't see them requiring you have probable cause to run a check. Why doesn't someone hold those in LE accountable when and if they obtain cell phone records fraudulently. I value privacy, but whatever standard they want to require a dishonest cop and a crafty keyboard can overcome it.

I have a feeling that with some of the homegrown terrorism we have seen over the past couple of years congress will try and give increased powers to law enforcement and may try to convince other cellular providers to retain sms content. Regardless , I believe these issues will be hardly fought in the courts for years to come.

Cheers  
 
  

gblack
Member
 

Re: Prosecution denied request of cell tower records

Post Posted: Dec 16, 10 22:22

- hcso1510
Why doesn't someone hold those in LE accountable when and if they obtain cell phone records fraudulently. I value privacy, but whatever standard they want to require a dishonest cop and a crafty keyboard can overcome it.


True that!

- hcso1510
I have a feeling that with some of the homegrown terrorism we have seen over the past couple of years congress will try and give increased powers to law enforcement and may try to convince other cellular providers to retain sms content. Regardless , I believe these issues will be hardly fought in the courts for years to come.


Yep, let's hope there's a balance in the outcome.
_________________
Geoff 
 

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