Cell Phones & Smartphones

ACLU Seeks Secret Court Opinions Authorizing NSA's Mass Acquisition of Americans' Phone Records

ACLU Seeks Secret Court Opinions Authorizing NSA's Mass Acquisition of Americans' Phone Records

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 1:30pm

The ACLU and Yale Law School's Media Freedom and Information Clinic filed a motion today with the Foreign Intelligence...

The House Hearing on Location Tracking Law (or the Lack Thereof)

The House Hearing on Location Tracking Law (or the Lack Thereof)

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:44pm

My colleague Catherine Crump testified before Congress today on location tracking and privacy, and the GPS Act that would increase legal protections for our location data. The hearing was before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, and you can read her written testimony submitted here.

The chairman of the committee, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (D-Wis.), is a strong supporter of updating the law. He opened the hearing by acknowledging that the law has not kept pace with new technology—certainly a truism, and certainly true with regards to location tracking in particular, but one that is good to hear accepted as fact by powerful lawmakers.

Sensenbrenner also slammed the Justice Department for not sending a witness to the hearing. The reason, he reported, is that “it lacks a clear policy position on ECPA,” referring to the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act. When Sensenbrenner was reading Catherine’s bio, which included mention of her efforts to find out how the DOJ is interpreting

New Results From Our Nationwide Cell Phone Tracking Records Requests

New Results From Our Nationwide Cell Phone Tracking Records Requests

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 2:04pm

It’s been over a year since 35 ACLU affiliates filed over 380 public records requests with state and local law enforcement agencies seeking information about their policies, procedures, and practices for tracking cell phones. And 13 months later…

Even After Supreme Court GPS Decision, Feds Still Want Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking

Even After Supreme Court GPS Decision, Feds Still Want Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking

By Sarah Roberts, Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 8:34pm

Even after January's landmark Supreme Court decision cast significant doubt on the government’s ability to electronically track a person’s location without a warrant, the Justice Department continues to defend this practice. On Friday,…

How the Supreme Court's GPS Tracking Case Can Affect Your Cell Phone Privacy

How the Supreme Court's GPS Tracking Case Can Affect Your Cell Phone Privacy

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 2:34pm

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will confront the profound impact of new location-tracking technologies on Americans' privacy.

D.C. Judge: Government Doesn't Need a Warrant to Demand Cell Phone Location Information

D.C. Judge: Government Doesn't Need a Warrant to Demand Cell Phone Location Information

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 10:39am

Can the government demand location information records from your carrier without a warrant? Unfortunately, a D.C. District Court judge thinks so.

Meet Jack: What The Government Could Do With All That Location Data

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:38pm

Wednesday we learned that the NSA is collecting location information en masse. As we’ve long said, location data is an extremely powerful set of information about people. To flesh out why that is true, here is the kind of future memo that we fear may someday soon be uncovered:

Dear commissioner: now that we have finalized our systems for the acquisition and processing of Americans’ location data (using data from cell phone and license plate readers as well as other sources), I wanted to give you a quick taste of our new system’s capabilities in the domestic policing context.

As you can see in this screen shot from our new application, an individual by the name of Jack R. Benjamin yesterday was flagged as a potential DUI risk:

The rest of this post has been placed on a separate page that can display high-resolution images. Click here to view.

Congress Must Act to Stop Unwarranted Tracking by Law Enforcement

Congress Must Act to Stop Unwarranted Tracking by Law Enforcement

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:22am

In an effort to rein in overreaching law enforcement practices, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) yesterday re-introduced the GPS Act, which would require a warrant for location tracking and create a critical check on the growing…

Vermont Supreme Court Agrees with the ACLU on Electronic Search Limits

Vermont Supreme Court Agrees with the ACLU on Electronic Search Limits

By Dan Barrett, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Vermont, ACLU of Vermont at 12:20pm

The Vermont Supreme Court gave electronic privacy a big boost this morning when it approved restrictions placed upon police when conducting searches of electronic devices.

The case originated when police in Burlington, Vermont were investigating…

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