John Lister's picture

Supreme Court to Rule on Cellphone Location Data

The Supreme Court is to examine whether the government must get a search warrant before making cellphone carriers hand over a customer's location history . It's the final step in a six-year case centered on a robbery conviction. Timothy Carter was ... convicted thanks to police evidence showing location data from his phone. In total they had 12,898 records of his location covering a 127-day period. The data came from MetroPCS, which was his cellphone carrier, as well as from Sprint which shared data from when he had received roaming coverage. Data Treated Differently to Phone Itself ... (view more)

John Lister's picture

Phone Fingerprint Lock Sparks New Legal Dispute

A federal court has ordered a woman to use her finger to unlock her iPhone. It's the latest legal tussle in the ongoing debate pitting security and law enforcement against constitutional rights. The case involved a Los Angeles woman who had been ... arrested for identity theft. The FBI wanted to access the contents of her phone, which was protected by a fingerprint lock. Officials have not publicly revealed exactly why they wanted to access the data, or whether it directly related to the identity theft charges. Court documents show she was the girlfriend of a known member of a major LA ... (view more)

John Lister's picture

Should Police have Access to Cell Data without Warrant?

The Supreme Court has refused to consider a case that could have decided if the government needs a warrant to track a person's location through their cellphone. That means lower courts may continue to make case-by-case decisions on the issue. A man ... named Quartavious Davis had asked the Supreme Court to hear his case. He was sentenced to 1,941 months in prison for taking part in multiple robberies. As part of their investigation, local police acquired Davis's cellphone records from MetroPCS and were able to link him to seven crime scenes. An appeals court rejected Davis's argument, ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Court Restricts Police Use of GPS Tracking Devices

A federal appeals court has ruled that law enforcement authorities in the United States must get a warrant before hiding a global positioning system (GPS) tracker on a suspect's car. The ruling clarifies an issue left unanswered by a previous ... Supreme Court verdict. The legal confusion followed a high-profile case involving a suspected drug dealer who was tried and convicted after police tracked his movements using a GPS device attached to his Jeep. The man took the case to the Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction because it found that much of the evidence was inadmissible. The ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

New Law Would Block Authorities From Reading Emails

A U.S. senator wants to close a legal loophole that allows law enforcement officials to read private emails without first obtaining a warrant. If successful, the change would mean users of webmail services, such as Gmail and Hotmail, will receive ... extra protection against prying eyes. Private email content is currently protected by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. However, email usage is far greater today than it was then, and new procedures leave open the opportunity for officials to read private emails in secret. Years ago most email users downloaded their messages, which ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

US Court Approves Cellphone GPS Tracking by Police

A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled that police and other law enforcement officials have the right to use Global Positioning System (GPS) data from a suspect's cellphone without a warrant. The judges decided a technicality in existing law means ... such actions do not violate the Fourth Amendment, which forbids unreasonable search and seizure by the federal government. The Appeals Court ruling came in the case of convicted drug dealer Melvin Skinner, who was tracked down by GPS after an investigation. The investigation involved acquiring a cellphone number used by Skinner. Drug enforcement ... (view more)

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