Friday, October 24th, 2014

DOJ Deputy Wants Warrantless Surveillance of Cellular Phone Signals

Published on May 8, 2012 by   ·   No Comments

Susanne Posel/Activist Post

The Obama administration is attempting to force Congressional law to rewrite cellular phone privacy rights.

In 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement required a warrant to gain access to cellular phone records, use GPS to track a suspect, have probable cause to probe a suspect’s privacy through corporate intelligence gathered on customers.

In United States v. Jones Americans have protection under the US Constitution against GPS surveillance by local law enforcement and federal agencies under the 4th Amendment. Because of the information that can be obtained from GPS technology and cellular phone devices, a search warrant was an absolute requirement.

The ACLU discovered that law enforcement was searching private data obtained through cellular phone transmissions without obtaining a warrant. This decision has caused frenzy within federal courts, according to Jason Weinstein, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s criminal division. Weinstein spoke at the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee and the State of the Mobile Net Conference on Capitol Hill.

The interception of cellular phone tower transmissions signals are used to track individuals. Prosecutors can precisely survey suspects with this technology.

Weinstein stated the current requirements for warrants in the initial stages of an investigation “cripple” law enforcement’s ability to perform their function effectively.

‘There really is no fairness and no justice when the law applies differently to different people depending on which courthouse you’re sitting in,’ he said at the ‘State of the Mobile Net’ conference sponsored by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee. ‘For that reason alone, we think Congress should clarify the legal standard.’

Weinstein believes that data collection from cellular phone providers is necessary for law enforcement to perform their job effectively. In justification of this intrusion of person privacy, Weinstein said, “there really is no fairness and no justice when the law applies differently to different people depending on which courthouse you’re sitting in.”
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