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DOJ: We Don't Need a Warrant To Track You

Soulskill posted 1 year,7 days | from the well-we-don't-need-a-warrant-to-fire-you dept.

Cellphones 259

GovTechGuy writes "The Department of Justice maintains it does not need a warrant to track an individual using location data captured from their cellphone. 'Cellphone location records are currently lumped under Title 1 and Title 2 of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (PL 99-508), which cover stored communications and call details. Accessing those types of information typically requires only a court order, rather than a warrant, as is required for the contents of a phone call or digital message under Title 3.' That has prompted Maine and Montana to pass laws banning warrantless cellphone tracking; unfortunately, Congress doesn't appear close to doing the same."

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259 comments

Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (4, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312089)

Ones that say that yes they do need a warrant. Meh, who am I kidding these days...

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312187)

Ones that say that yes they do need a warrant. Meh, who am I kidding these days...

No! You are right, we should be fighting for our rights and these secret courts and massive intelligence gathering on the people is nothing short of what the Gestapo was engaged in back in .... ooo, is that a new Samsung GS4 Active?!? Shiny! Want!

[NO CARRIER]

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (2)

chromas (1085949) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312909)

is that a new Samsung GS4 Active?!? Shiny! Want!

[NO CARRIER]

AT&T?

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44313225)

In fascist America, your phone listens to you.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44313197)

OMG! Sad, But true.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (5, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312221)

Ones that say that yes they do need a warrant.

I think you've got that one covered already, it's called the 4th amendment. Too bad you guys have spent decades deciding that the Constitution is a 'living breathing document' instead of a foundational document which is immutable. And you have politicians who now run with that, and instead of laws being challenged against the document for a breach against the people, you use the mass of interpretations, and fine legal hair splitting so you get screwed over.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (4, Insightful)

Proteus (1926) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312425)

The 4th Amendment requires due process of law to conduct a search, and Congress has the power to define what that due process looks like. In the case of "stored data", they've decided that "due process" only requires a court order.

Any 4th Amendment argument that a court order isn't sufficient due process is inherently one of interpretation regarding the intent of the 4th Amendment. This is one of the many reasons why the EFF is making a 1st Amendment challenge to the NSA's accessing of such metadata. The NSA followed established due process (they went to a FISC court and got a warrant), so there's no 4th Amendment claim really (unless you want to argue that the 4th's provisions were not intended to be satisfied by a secret court -- but again, that's interpretation).

The living breathing document doctrine is not saying that the text of the Constitution is mutable, but that rather as society changes, our interpretation of what it means changes too. This has caused some problems, but it's also the root of a lot of good things, like the decision that the guarantee of "Freedom of speech" extends to all forms of expression.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (4, Informative)

Intropy (2009018) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312511)

Due process is the 5th. The 4th is "secure... against unreasonable searches and seizures... and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause...". In short, to search you need a warrant, and for a warrant you need probable cause. Now I suppose in order to obtain a warrant once you have probable cause that could be said to require due process of law.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44313163)

Due process is the 5th.

The 14th also has a due process clause... the principle is so important, they stuck it in there twice.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (1, Offtopic)

Anachragnome (1008495) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312661)

Could someone do me a solid and check to see if the following website is available to you?

http://www.george-orwell.org/1984 [george-orwell.org]

As of this morning, it is "forbidden" from all machines in my house. I know this because I read chapter 1 last night just before bed.

Thanks in advance.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312737)

nope 404

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (0)

Anachragnome (1008495) | 1 year,7 days | (#44313273)

Next request...

Is anyone able to mod my original post upward?

(No, I will not agree to mod your post up as I have not been allocated any for the last 3 weeks, when I usually get 5-10 a week. Besides, that would be pandering.)

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44313003)

403 for me. I'm in the UK.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (1)

cffrost (885375) | 1 year,7 days | (#44313139)

I find this site to be handy: http://isup.me/george-orwell.org [isup.me]

The above site's functionality is available from a right-click using the extension Flagfox. [flagfox.net]

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (1)

bmo (77928) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312833)

>a foundational document which is immutable.

According to Jefferson, it never was immutable.

The idea that institutions established for the use of the nation cannot be touched nor modified even to make them answer their end because of rights gratuitously supposed in those employed to manage them in trust for the public, may perhaps be a salutary provision against the abuses of a monarch but is most absurd against the nation itself

Yet our lawyers and priests generally inculcate this doctrine and suppose that preceding generations held the earth more freely than we do, had a right to impose laws on us unalterable by ourselves, and that we in like manner can make laws and impose burdens on future generations which they will have no right to alter; in fine, that the earth belongs to the dead and not the living." --Thomas Jefferson to William Plumer, 1816. ME 15:46

--
BMO

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | 1 year,7 days | (#44313317)

I think you've got that one covered already, it's called the 4th amendment.

The 4th amendment uses subjective words like "unreasonable". And "process of law". And the term "search". Are you really being subjected to a search when a company you do business with is giving away information about you that you didn't give them in the first place? Is it an unreasonable search of your person or property if someone tells the police "I saw Mashiki in the grocery store yesterday"?

Too bad you guys have spent decades deciding that the Constitution is a 'living breathing document' instead of a foundational document which is immutable.

It's very hard to claim that the Constitution is immutable when the Constitution itself contains the instructions for how to change it.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312237)

Warrants are meaningless.

1. the feds just go to their secret rubberstamp court to get them
2. this case https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois_v._Gates made them a joke since an LEO can get one by claiming an anonymous tip.

Here is how things happen now. Cops and feds use any kind of intrusive and illegal surveillance they want. Then if they don't like you for whatever reason get a warrant based on either national security or an "anonymous tip". Then they kick down your door, rough up your family, ransack your house, shoot your dogs (and you if you dont lick their boots or if they were just having a case of mondays). Then go to court claiming they found evidence which was really obtained through the illegal methods they used earlier.

Then even if they get caught doing something blatantly illegal there is never any meaningful penalty for the individuals involved. At worst the taxpayers of the municipality pay out a settlement that is trivial compared to the total budget, most of which goes to the lawyers and not to the people who were wronged.

We currently live in a police state because no practical limitations to the powers of the police.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312593)

Apparently you didn't read the link you posted; an anonymous tip alone isn't enough. IL v Gates established the "totality of circumstances" test, which, as the name implies, considers all sources of info LEO has together to decide if there's probable cause for a warrant. Having said that, it sounds like it was a significant "lowering of the bar" for obtaining warrants.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312361)

Before you injure your knee on the bottom of your desk, the next /. story should be

"And neither does Google, except they do it much more effectively"

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312381)

Constitution trumps it anyway. The courts have already said that you can't have free speech without anonymity, I think there's an obvious argument to be made that you can't have freedom of assembly without anonymous movement. And that's even ignore the whole search and seizure thing. Apparently what we need is an amendment to specifically call out privacy, because the 1st, 4th, and 9th are not cutting it these days.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (2)

RevSpaminator (1419557) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312457)

Yeah, because the constitution only applies to houses(?). That idea that the fourth amendment doesn't apply to digital privacy is about as ridiculous as someone saying freedom of press only applies to materials produced on a printing press. (Uh-oh, I hope no one gets any ideas.)

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (1)

fnj (64210) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312547)

Like the others say, I don't think that's the way to handle it, especially since the supreme court is in the bag for this activity. Everyone involved in this activity is ALREADY in violation of their pledge to UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, which is written in plain language, specifically the 4th amendment. Their uppermost solemn duty is to decline to carry this out. In an unsubverted US they would all be facing severe penalties.

A President set up the NSA unilaterally. I'm pretty sure a President could disband it just as easily.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (4, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312591)

Their position is most likely based on Smith v. Maryland (5-3) [justia.com] , which allowed the warrantless use of pen registers.

However, pen registers only record the time, length and number called by the person being monitored. Cell phone records greatly expand the types of data gathered, adding location, incoming numbers (CID/ANI), types of "calls" (voice/SMS/data).

In Smith v Maryland, they ruled out applying the 4th for a few reasons:

(a) Application of the Fourth Amendment depends on whether the person invoking its protection can claim a "legitimate expectation of privacy" that has been invaded by government action. This inquiry normally embraces two questions: first, whether the individual has exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy; and second, whether his expectation is one that society is prepared to recognize as "reasonable." Katz v. United States, 389 U. S. 347. Pp. 442 U. S. 739-741.

With regard to privacy expectations, they found:

(b) Petitioner in all probability entertained no actual expectation of privacy in the phone numbers he dialed, and even if he did, his expectation was not "legitimate." First, it is doubtful that telephone users in general have any expectation of privacy regarding the numbers they dial, since they typically know that they must convey phone numbers to the telephone company and that the company has facilities for recording this information and does, in fact, record it for various legitimate business purposes. And petitioner did not demonstrate an expectation of privacy merely by using his home phone, rather than some other phone, since his conduct, although perhaps calculated to keep the contents of his conversation private, was not calculated to preserve the privacy of the number he dialed. Second, even if petitioner did harbor some subjective expectation of privacy, this expectation was not one that society is prepared to recognize as "reasonable." When petitioner voluntarily conveyed numerical information to the phone company and "exposed" that information to its equipment in the normal course of business, he assumed the risk that the company would reveal the information to the police, cf. United States v. Miller, 425 U. S. 435. Pp. 442 U. S. 741-746.

One significant difference these days is that most cell phone carriers have explicit, contractual privacy policies, which do provide a reasonable expectation of privacy (the ruling does address assumptions of privacy, but not explicit promises). And, different from that ruling, the caller does not voluntarily expose location information to the phone company. If one chooses not to have CID (or has no choice), they are not voluntarily exposing calling party information.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312835)

Wow. They said dialing a phone number, which gives that number to a PRIVATE company, is not an expectation of privacy from the GOVERNMENT?

What the actual fuck are these people still doing alive?

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (1)

msauve (701917) | 1 year,7 days | (#44313075)

"What the actual fuck are these people still doing alive?"

Blackmun, Burger, White, Rehnquist, Stevens, Stewart, Marshall (Powell recused). All dead except Stevens, and he dissented.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (1)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312847)

Even the original ruling was nonsense. I believe most people really do have the expectation that nobody knows if they dial a local number or when. They certainly have the expectation that nobody actively records it and reports it to another party not directly involved in connecting the call.

Argumentation that people know it's possible is not a direction we want to go since we know it is possible to record a voice call and it is possible to implant a tracking device inside a person. We can easily imagine it is possible to implant a listening device as well, but nevertheless, I feel safe in saying that nobody but paranoids actually expect that to be done YET. Surely we don't permit those things without a warrant just because people realize it is not impossible.

In short, just another case of the courts bending logic into a pretzel to avoid annoying law enforcement.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,7 days | (#44313281)

You don't have to wade very far through the legal apologia to find the key sentence:

Second, even if petitioner did harbor some subjective expectation of privacy, this expectation was not one that society is prepared to recognize as "reasonable."

Translation: go screw yourself, we're not going to recognize the 4th as applying to pen registers because we don't want to. The whole 'not one that society is prepared to recognize as "reasonable"' is subjective nonsense, or in less polite language, something the majority on the court pulled from their posteriors because that's the conclusion they wanted to come to.

They don't know what society is prepared to recognize as reasonable, and don't even attempt to find out. Expert testimony on scientific and technical issues is subject to all sorts of vetting, but deciding what society thinks can apparently be decided by five "justices" through pure application of wisdom, or reading chicken entrails, or something.

Re:Then maybe it's time for some new laws... (1)

erroneus (253617) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312939)

Either that or start getting more serious about the constitution and something known as the spirit of the law.

Individual members of Congress may grandstand... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312139)

But beyond a little moaning before the TV cameras they're thick as thieves behind closed doors and we can just about forget them rolling this one back or reigning it in.

So, it's not Bush or Obama, but Ronnie we can thank for this.

Re:Individual members of Congress may grandstand.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312229)

I've been blaming the American people for this, since Ronnie.

We're the ones who keep voting in people who are tougher on crime than the last one was, and they pass laws to make things easier for them to do so. So what do you expect?

Re:Individual members of Congress may grandstand.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312475)

"Tough on Crime" [imaginary crime] mostly was put into widespread national use by Nixon and the Southern Strategy [wikipedia.org] . It was meant to galvanize apathetic white voters to come to the polls and vote against the 'criminal blacks'. It continued with the 'crack baby' stuff during Reagen.

It continues to this day with gerrymandering, Voter IDs, closing of polling places early (see Florida) and other schemes aimed at voter disenfranchisement.

Re: Individual members of Congress may grandstand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312597)

I expect to see a database listing how each federally elected official has voted on surveillance, and what there opponents have said/voted on the subject, by the next election.

Re:Individual members of Congress may grandstand.. (3)

PopeRatzo (965947) | 1 year,7 days | (#44313181)

We're the ones who keep voting in people who

I don't know about you, but I didn't vote for the FISA court, or for the jackoffs on the Supreme Court, or for the head of the NSA or for any of the thousands of congressional staffers who are actually doing the legislating. Nor did I vote for the lobbyists who write the bills, or for ALEC or for the biggest PACs.

You could blame "the American People" if the elected officials were actually doing any governing. Unfortunately, we have outsourced everything to a bunch of people whose names we do not know and who are not accountable to anyone. That's why it sometimes seems so strange, how the legislative process often suddenly takes such unexpected turns, with last-minute changes and secrecy and obfuscation. I don't know too much about what it was like before the 1950's, but I know for sure that at least since 1980, the people we think of as our elected officials are not the ones running the government.

Re:Individual members of Congress may grandstand.. (2)

fnj (64210) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312579)

Wrong. A President instituted the NSA on his own. A President could abolish the NSA on his own.

Re:Individual members of Congress may grandstand.. (1)

GlennC (96879) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312711)

A President instituted the NSA on his own. A President could abolish the NSA on his own.

A President could also ride a horse to victory in the Kentucky Derby....that doesn't mean a President is LIKELY to do so, though.

Re:Individual members of Congress may grandstand.. (2)

fnj (64210) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312831)

You are looking at it ass-backwards. Find an honest man with core principles who recognizes the NSA should be abolished, and is otherwise well qualified to be President, and help see him through to nomination and election. If you need a third party, add that to the list of things to do.

Nothing worth doing is easy.

Re:Individual members of Congress may grandstand.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312999)

Find an honest man with core principles who recognizes the NSA should be abolished, and is otherwise well qualified to be Presiden

No such thing.

To be elected to public office requires significant cognitive dissonance and a desire for ever greater powers of control.

Why do the carriers collect this data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312153)

Having aggregated data is understandable for capacity management, but why does Verizon need to save my specific location associated with my IMEI?

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (1)

Doug Otto (2821601) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312169)

When you call 911 with cardiac symptoms and then drop off the call, it's useful information.

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312193)

When you call 911 with cardiac symptoms and then drop off the call, it's useful information.

You'd be surprised. I called 911 in Orange County a month ago and the first question I get is "Where are you?" Hmmph.

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312271)

Because GPS may not tell the whole story about your location. apartment number, third floor, etc.
Or GPS may not be working at all inside but cell still does and cell tower location is even less accurate.

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312487)

... and GPS has nothing to do with this. Phones do not require GPS receivers, GPS receivers need not be on and, in any case, a GPS receiver does not transmit your location. An originally military locating system that broadcast your location would be a supremely stupid thing.

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312599)

... and GPS has nothing to do with this. Phones do not require GPS receivers, GPS receivers need not be on and, in any case, a GPS receiver does not transmit your location. An originally military locating system that broadcast your location would be a supremely stupid thing.

If your phone has GPS that information is available, particularly on a 911 call. Amazing how fast they can track down someone with a newer phone these days, particularly when the user thought they had that function disabled. Only for the internet is it politely asking for permission to share your location.

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312201)

When you call 911 with cardiac symptoms and then drop off the call, it's useful information.

To the 911 operators.

But that doesn't answer his question: Why does Verizon store his info, and for much, much longer than what would be reasonably required for emergency response purposes?

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312435)

Having been a cellular customer support person is is very useful when dealing with disputed roaming charges. It is much harder to deny a call when there is proof one is roaming. It also works both ways as there are certain areas that have known roaming issues and it is much easier to justify a credit if there is proof of the location.

Another reason is that the location information has to be stored somewhere before it is forwarded to the 911 system. As for storing it too long, that would require a process to wipe information after a certain time. Those processes probably don't exist yet.

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (1)

fnj (64210) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312613)

"I find your rationale disturbing."
-- Darth Vader's good twin

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312549)

it's useful for finding missing people and for solving murders/manslaughters(vehicular).
of course, then they would have warrant for that. note that it never seems to be used on any reality cop shows from usa for that... but that's what the info is usually used for.

though, it's always surprising that they still manage to have a major gang and narcotics dealing problems even if they could according to their own reading of the law datamine the shit out of the networks - and yes it would get you hotspots, it would give you regions(block level) where crackheads go buy their crack from and who brings in the shipments from where. having separate phones doesn't help, you would need to never keep them on at same time and their buyers sure don't do the two phone never on in the same cell dance, nobody does. all the surveillance and for shit all nothing except special cases when they feel like it.

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312743)

I know, it's crazy. It's almost as if the point of the war on drugs isn't actually to stop the drug trade at all! But that's crazy! Instead we should spend a few billion more on militarized police, helicopters, drones, and prisons.

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (1)

FoolishBluntman (880780) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312203)

When you call 911 with cardiac symptoms and then drop off the call, it's useful information.

But how many of my calls are to 911?
If there were really for helping 911 support, it need only track 911 calls

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (1)

Feyshtey (1523799) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312235)

It's not like 911 calls cant be handled by a different procedure. And they should be. But no one needs a record of where I was when I called my son, and where he was.

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (1)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312317)

Except one time I called 911 while a crazy man tried to break the window of my car and the dispatcher told me she couldn't do anything, nor could even route me to the correct dispatcher until I told her exactly what intersection I was at... but I didn't know... so she offered to stay on the phone with me until we found out...

Which is useless if the guy had busted out a gun or a tire iron and actually succeeded in breaking into the car....

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312461)

Unless you had a GPS enabled phone with GPS on or are in contact with at least three cell towers in the right spatial distribution they can not accurately locate you.

Re:Why do the carriers collect this data? (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | 1 year,7 days | (#44313079)

Is it useful a month later? In the vast majority of cases, I'd say "fuck no." Only if you've been kidnapped or something, in which case by a month or so authorities will already have been notified much in advance, and the records would still be there for the FBI to notify the cell phone service provider to save data for that one account. I'd say there is NO GOOD REASON for them to be storing tracking data for more than a month and a half. None at all.

Where are the "BusHilter is teh Eeeeevil" crazies? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312215)

Bunch of hyperpartisan hypocrits.

Turnabout is Fair Play, Right? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312231)

Soo... since it's pretty well established at this point that the DOJ does not respect the authority of the US Constitution, it would stand to reason that We, the People, should as a matter of principle and duty refuse to respect the authority of the DOJ, correct?

Bullshit like this is why I feel an irresistible urge to pimp-slap someone every time I hear the Constitution referred to as "a living document."

Re:Turnabout is Fair Play, Right? (3, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312277)

Turnabout would be to publish a Web service showing the real-time locations of all DOJ employees' cell phones. After all, according to them, that information is not private.

Re:Turnabout is Fair Play, Right? (4, Informative)

Proteus (1926) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312459)

No, according to them, that information isn't private enough to require a warrant. It still requires a court order to obtain, and it's not considered public information.

If you're going to respond to a bad situation, you have to actually understand the real situation, or you're just going to get dismissed as ignorant.

DOJ has made the solution quite easy (2)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312273)

If they do not want to obey the laws, then neither shall I.

Re:DOJ has made the solution quite easy (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312567)

would you even know the law?

if doj thinks it's free data, how long before you're starting to get advertisements based on where you were at? I mean, generally in the west not even the phone companies are allowed to use the data for their random benefit at will.

Warrant == Court Order (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312299)

someone needs to do their research

Re:Warrant == Court Order (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312375)

A warrant is a court order, yes, but a court order is not necessarily a warrant. Warrants generally have a lot stricter rules on when and how they are issued. Specifically, a search warrant requires probable cause. A court order does not.

Re:Warrant == Court Order (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312871)

Does a court order require anything other than asking for one?

One thing you can do (0)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312329)

One thing you can do is do not turn on GPS location services on your phone unless you need them. This also saves quite a bit of battery life since processing GPS signals to get a location takes a lot of juice. It doesn't prevent "them" from using cell tower triangulation to track your location but that's more difficult and not as accurate.

Be aware that some apps will "help you out" by turning on GPS services for you and some apps won't function correctly unless they can access your GPS provided location.

Cheers,
Dave

Don't be Stupid (3, Informative)

Rob Riggs (6418) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312569)

Thanks for trolling. They can (and do) track you based on triangulation to cell towers. GPS is not needed.

Re:Don't be Stupid (1)

ATestR (1060586) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312799)

Obviously you can't stop them from tracking you. But the point about saving your battery was worth saying.

Re:Don't be Stupid (1)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312849)

I didn't say they couldn't or wouldn't. I said it makes tracking you more difficult and less accurate. If your GPS is on and you're doing something really stupid like letting FB or some other social app trackyour location, all "they" need to do is tap into the data stream and they have a pretty accurate location for you with basically no effort at all. Getting log data from a bunch of cell towers and picking out one phone from the mass of data and the reported signal strength and then matching that up to get a location means wading through a lot of data.

If "they" really want to find you they can. I've dealt with cell tower data and there's a lot of it to digest if you want to find out if someone's phone connected to a particular tower. Oh yeah, and if a tower that should see you is saturated, they don't get a report from that tower.

Cheers,
Dave

Re:One thing you can do (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312733)

It is neither harder nor less accurate to track you via towers. In fact most GPS enabled phones have "aGPS" that use the cell towers to speed up GPS fixes.

Re:One thing you can do (2)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312991)

Each tower only can report that it "saw" your phone at a particular time and with whatever signal strength. If a tower is saturated, it doesn't have anything. If there are only one or two towers that "see" your phone, they can't accurately triangulate (triangulation needs three fixes). Signal strength can vary a lot depending on intervening ground and other obstacles so two towers ony define an area where you might be (or might have been). Finally, your phone data is mixed in with the gigabytes of data from all of the other phone users whose phones connected to a particular tower and your data has to be extracted and this has to be done for ANY cell tower that might have connected to your phone.

So that's as easy and accurate as tapping into "my location is lat xyz, lon abc, elevation nnn"?

Your phone figuring out where it is is a whole different problem from someone who doesn't know where you are trying to find you or track your movements based on which cell towers your phone "sees." Finally, just like with GPS, don't turn on an app that does something like report your location. Typically, the phone won't perform geolocation unless there is something for it to do with the location data. The phone software only wants a cell tower to talk to. If there is more than one, so much the better but that's all the phone needs to operate as a phone.

Cheers,
Dave

Dear DOJ (1)

fnj (64210) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312363)

Dear DOJ:

And WE don't need a warrant to vote for the first presidential candidate who promises to rock your world and make sure your out of control ass gets curbed, and to prosecute everyone who failed to honor their pledge to UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION. In fact maybe the NSA doesn't even need to exist. We won WW2 without you.

Sincerely,
voting citizens who have a clue and a care

Re:Dear DOJ (3, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312515)

vote for the first presidential candidate who promises to rock your world

*crickets*...*crickets*...

Re:Dear DOJ (2)

MitchDev (2526834) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312583)

Yeah, like that candidate:

A) Exists
B) Would even try to carry through on his promises
C) Would be able to get corrupt congress-critters to actually pass anything that helps the problem
D) Would make it on the ballot without being blasted by "Insane, crime-loving commie" propaganda from the big two parties...

Re:Dear DOJ (2)

fnj (64210) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312681)

Yeah, so let's not even try? Tyranny couldn't exist without attitudes like that, backed up by resignation.

Re:Dear DOJ (1)

Artifakt (700173) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312795)

When the Federal Government expanded imminent domain, eight states passed laws that restricted that power. On this issue, two states (so far) have passed laws restricting it. Lobby your state to restrict the things where the federal government overreaches. If you can get your state on the bandwagon, there can be a candidate for federal office that takes it just as seriously as you do, and as your state does. If your state will pass the laws, your state will also pick Congressmen who will work for the same laws at the federal level. If there's not enough people in your state who care to even get these issues on the local ballots, then your state is part of the problem, and I say that as a resident of one of the eight states that passed tough restictions on state power to exercise imminent domain, and who is working to add that state to the two who have already become concerned about warrentless tracking.

Re:Dear DOJ (5, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312607)

Dear DOJ:

And WE don't need a warrant to vote for the first presidential candidate who promises to rock your world and make sure your out of control ass gets curbed, and to prosecute everyone who failed to honor their pledge to UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION. In fact maybe the NSA doesn't even need to exist. We won WW2 without you.

Sincerely,
voting citizens who have a clue and a care

Tried it, didn't work - remember "Hope and Change?" Hell, not only did dude fail to uphold his campaign promises, the motherfucker doubled-down on anti-Constitutional activities!

Don't feel bad, I voted for the bastard once myself.

Re:Dear DOJ (1)

fnj (64210) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312651)

Funny, I could see right through him from the word go, as soon as his name came up for nomination. Once he and the dope on the R ticket were nominated it was all over.

Re:Dear DOJ (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312745)

Meh, was young and impressionable (plus, excited about voting for the first time).

Didn't make the same mistake twice, and I won't ever make that one again.

Re:Dear DOJ (1)

mark-t (151149) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312887)

If it were really all over at that point, it would only be because a majority of voters who don't like either of the main two candidates will still only ever vote for one of them, choosing what they feel is the "lesser of two evils", and in particular, they will do this even *if* there was an independent that might have more closely represented their own views than either of the primary candidates.

But, a combination of apathy and a rather large helping of paranoia about "the wrong guy winning" overrides practically any chance that change through an independent party could actually ever happen in the USA.

It is the voters and the idiotic first-past-the-post system that are to blame. not the candidates.

Re:Dear DOJ (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312643)

citizens who have a clue and a care

News flash.. You're in the minority.

Do as a say, not as I do? (3, Interesting)

asmkm22 (1902712) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312387)

I wonder how the government would feel if someone were to put up a website that gives real-time information about the location of members of congress, based on cell-phone data? Surely that wouldn't make them feel a bit uneasy, even if there were no publicly-ill intentions, right?

Re:Do as a say, not as I do? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312639)

I wonder how the government would feel if someone were to put up a website that gives real-time information about the location of members of congress, based on cell-phone data? Surely that wouldn't make them feel a bit uneasy, even if there were no publicly-ill intentions, right?

Judging from recent events, most likely that person would be declared a traitor and enemy of the state, [wikipedia.org] and if they did not flee, [wikipedia.org] the storm troopers would come down on their ass like motherfucking Mjölnir, the hammer of Thor.

Thank goodness we don't have fascists in change (4, Interesting)

Picass0 (147474) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312407)

I'm so glad we have a two party system where one party is so very obviously good and virtuous and the other is evil for all to see. We should keep voting blindly along party lines based on the rhetoric these people speak rather than looking at their actions.

I must excuse myself, the Two Minute Hate is about to begin.

Re:Thank goodness we don't have fascists in change (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312557)

one party is so very obviously good and virtuous and the other is evil for all to see

Well, that is half right.

We live in a police state. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312439)

The US has become a police state. Going forward means always being cognizant of that. We must first demand that government cut the funding for these alphabet organizations, perform mass layoffs of personal, and shut the machine off. They will resist and there for we must deny them the capability of spying by shutting down accounts with service providers and stop buying and using hacked hardware and software. Continuing with denying spying capability we must protect our information with hardened, secured software and hardware using insanely powerful encryption.

Re:We live in a police state. (3, Insightful)

boorack (1345877) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312533)

I'm not sure it is possible anymore. Those fucks just obtained right to jail citizens for indefinite time without court order (NDAA injunction has been struck down by Obama's cronies in 13 circuit, and good lock with SCOTUS). US of A 2013 reminds me Germany 1936. Scary times ahead...

Re: We live in a police state. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312603)

Don't make yourself a target.

Re:We live in a police state. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312653)

I'm not sure it is possible anymore. Those fucks just obtained right to jail citizens for indefinite time without court order (NDAA injunction has been struck down by Obama's cronies in 13 circuit, and good lock with SCOTUS). US of A 2013 reminds me Germany 1936. Scary times ahead...

Which is why it's more important now than ever before in our national history to honor and respect each other's 2nd Amendment rights.

The soapbox, ballot box, and jury box have been compromised.

Re: We live in a police state. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312739)

While I don't have a problem with the second amendment I don't think it will serve you in this case.

Congress (1)

ks*nut (985334) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312447)

Congress? Do something? I love the way they created meaningful gun control legislation after the Newtown shootings. And the whole sequestration fiasco. But don't get me wrong - they are the best legislative body that money can buy.

America... (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312481)

Hitler and the KGB only WISH they had balls this big...

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312505)

If the government can track your cellphone and, presumably, use that data against you, are they obligated to pay attention to it? Or does it only matter when it helps their case?

For instance, if I say I was home all night and my cellphone tracking data confirms that, how legally meaningful are the cellphone tracking data? I mean, after all, it's not like I could leave my cellphone at home while I go out.

I have to think that their use of cellphone tracking data has to leave them open to some sort of spoofing.

Really? (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312571)

How does this not violate the precedent set by US v Jones?

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312975)

How does this not violate the precedent set by US v Jones?

Just read the first paragraph on wikipedia about that case and you'll find many difference. The government isn't searching you, since you installed the device not the government. You are intentionally letting the phone company track you. Many people at the company can see this information. The government just wants to see it too. I'm not saying it's fair or right, but that's the logic used here.

Lumped? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312595)

If your reasoning includes the word "lumped," you might want to re-think it.

What use is a law in the face of power? (3, Insightful)

SlithyMagister (822218) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312631)

Since governments in general disregard laws with impunity, what difference can it possibly make to pass laws requiring warrants? They will do what they are going to do anyway. The existence of a law will not change this behaviour. The powerful are not constrained by laws, only the weak.

Fair enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312727)

Time to start tracking all government officials' cell phones.

Ditto on license plates, says ACLU (4, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | 1 year,7 days | (#44312893)

http://rt.com/usa/aclu-license-plate-surveillance-216/ [rt.com]

The American Civil Liberties Union has released documents confirming that police license plate readers capture vast amounts of data on innocent people, and in many instances this intelligence is kept forever.

According to documents obtained through a number of Freedom of Information Act requests filed by ACLU offices across the United States, law enforcement agencies are tracking the whereabouts of innocent persons en masse by utilizing a still up-and-coming technology.

You don't need one? Then I don't need one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44312895)

now give me your data!!!

Hey 'murica! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44313099)

Track this: ..|..

Tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#44313201)

Since they can do whatever they want if you really want to be not tracked Dont carry a cell phone and drive an old ass diesel - the kind that dont require electons or the piss tank to function if you worried about installed bugs occasionally overvolt the electrical system - just take the light bulbs out first

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