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Too Damn Old

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 2,831
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Last seen: 7 months, 19 days
D.O.J. and Cell Phone Tracking
    #4724335 - 09/28/05 10:14 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)



New Case Reveals Routine Abuse of Government Surveillance Powers

Kansas City Infozine | September 27 2005

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is arguing that a New York federal court should stand by its decision to require probable cause to believe a crime has been or is about to be committed before letting the government secretly track people using their cell phones.

"This is the first case considering when the government can track the movements of your cell phone, and the answer couldn't be more important," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "Allowing the government to turn anyone's cell phone into a tracking device without probable cause will enable a surveillance society that would make Big Brother jealous."

Last month, the court denied a Justice Department request to monitor a cell phone's location. The ruling revealed that the DOJ has routinely been securing court orders for real-time cell phone tracking without probable cause and without any law authorizing the surveillance.

Many cell phone users aren't aware that their phones can be used to track their location in real-time, even when they aren't using them. EFF filed a friend-of-the-court brief on Friday to oppose a DOJ motion asking the court to reconsider its pro-privacy decision. EFF argues that the Fourth Amendment requires a search warrant for such invasive surveillance, issued under the same strict standards as warrants that authorize phone and Internet wiretaps.

The government has tried to justify this gross expansion of its authority by combining two surveillance statutes, neither of which authorize cell phone tracking on their own. As EFF explains in its brief, there is no support anywhere for this argument -- not in the statutes' language, nor in legislative history, case law, or academic commentary. Indeed, it contradicts the government's own electronic evidence manual. "It's as if the government wants the court to believe that zero plus zero somehow equals one," said Bankston.

EFF's brief marks the first time the DOJ has had to face lawyers presenting an opposing argument on this issue. "Secrecy breeds abuse," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. "Before this court had the courage to stand up to the government, the hearings were hidden from the public and the judge only saw the government's point of view; this led to secret tracking orders -- without basis in law -- that threaten our fundamental liberties."

The DOJ is expected to appeal to the district court if Magistrate Judge Orenstein denies its motion to reconsider. The court has not said when it intends to rule

I can see were tracking a persons cell phone could be usefull for hunting down those who might be ready to carry out some kind of terrorist plot.

But then again if that was the case, you would think that the D.O.J would have probable cause and this wouldnt even be an issue.

If there is no probable cause why does the D.O.J. want to track a persons cell phone usage and whereabouts in the first place? I can't think of any good reason.

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PresidentialCandidate 2008

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Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 2,961
Loc: Ontario, Canada
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Re: D.O.J. and Cell Phone Tracking [Re: gregorio]
    #4724358 - 09/28/05 10:20 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

There is no good reason man.

It's the Gov't trying to track everyone at everytime.

Glad I don't own a cell phone.

It's Krang, Bitch!  :krang:

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Registered: 05/13/04
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Re: D.O.J. and Cell Phone Tracking [Re: drtyfrnk]
    #4724477 - 09/28/05 11:08 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Yea, fuck cell phones.  Wireless microphone + tracking device = :thumbdown:

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

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tangential derivation
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Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 20,635
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Re: D.O.J. and Cell Phone Tracking [Re: daimyo]
    #4724495 - 09/28/05 11:13 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Someting I doubt too many people know is that cell phones are being manufactured these days with GPS locators built-in.

Except in every case that I've seen there is no way for the user themselves to use the GPS locator! It won't work as a regular GPS receiver - you can't use it to find out where you are. However the "operator" can use it to immediately pinpoint your location to within a few meters!

"For emergency purposes only" :rolleyes:

Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.

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horrid asshole

Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 81,741
Loc: Fractallife's gym
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Re: D.O.J. and Cell Phone Tracking [Re: trendal]
    #4725962 - 09/28/05 05:07 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

You can also turn it off. I did.


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The Shootist

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 491
Last seen: 12 years, 6 months
Re: D.O.J. and Cell Phone Tracking [Re: gregorio]
    #4725990 - 09/28/05 05:13 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I recommend to my clients that they should own at least one "throw away" cell phone. Trac-Fone's are great for this. Purchased in cash at a no-name gas station, buy 500 minutes worth of air time and keep it turned off. Then if you need to talk about naughty stuff, you can do so without anyone knowing.

Also, most phones don't care if you turn off the locator. The government is still allowed to track it.

I'd say if you were going to go do a hit on someone, you just don't take your cell with you.


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