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Thread: Feds push for tracking cell phones

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    Feds push for tracking cell phones

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    February 11, 2010 4:00 AM PST
    by Declan McCullagh

    Two years ago, when the FBI was stymied by a band of armed robbers known as the "Scarecrow Bandits" that had robbed more than 20 Texas banks, it came up with a novel method of locating the thieves.
    FBI agents obtained logs from mobile phone companies corresponding to what their cellular towers had recorded at the time of a dozen different bank robberies in the Dallas area. The voluminous records showed that two phones had made calls around the time of all 12 heists, and that those phones belonged to men named Tony Hewitt and Corey Duffey. A jury eventually convicted the duo of multiple bank robbery and weapons charges.
    Even though police are tapping into the locations of mobile phones thousands of times a year, the legal ground rules remain unclear, and federal privacy laws written a generation ago are ambiguous at best. On Friday, the first federal appeals court to consider the topic will hear oral arguments (PDF) in a case that could establish new standards for locating wireless devices.
    In that case, the Obama administration has argued that warrantless tracking is permitted because Americans enjoy no "reasonable expectation of privacy" in their--or at least their cell phones'--whereabouts. U.S. Department of Justice lawyers say that "a customer's Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when the phone company reveals to the government its own records" that show where a mobile device placed and received calls.
    Okay lefties, what say you now? Is it still wrong?
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    Re: Feds push for tracking cell phones

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
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    Okay lefties, what say you now? Is it still wrong?
    This lefty says it's probably wrong. With a warrant, yes, without, I do not like it.
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    Re: Feds push for tracking cell phones

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    This lefty says it's probably wrong. With a warrant, yes, without, I do not like it.
    I, for one, appreciate your honesty. I don't like it either. I'll even go so far as to say I wouldn't like it even if a president I liked proposed it.
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    Re: Feds push for tracking cell phones

    This can't possibly fly.

    I'm willing to sacrifice some freedom for security, but this is a gargantuan undertaking that our Fed Govt will flub. What happened to good old intelligence operations?

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    Re: Feds push for tracking cell phones

    Bad move.

    I don't support cell phone tracking. Though, if they are willing to pay my cellphone bill for listening onto the conversations, then I would be more than happy to allow.
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    Re: Feds push for tracking cell phones

    Quote Originally Posted by kansaswhig View Post
    This can't possibly fly.

    I'm willing to sacrifice some freedom for security, but this is a gargantuan undertaking that our Fed Govt will flub. What happened to good old intelligence operations?
    what with cia operatives being grilled by department of justice investigators and being called liars by the speaker of the house pelosi I'm guessing they're simply too busy to be bothered with....you know......spying.
    Last edited by Dutch; 02-11-10 at 01:25 PM.
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    Re: Feds push for tracking cell phones

    Big brother is watching you

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    Re: Feds push for tracking cell phones

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
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    Okay lefties, what say you now? Is it still wrong?
    You bet it's wrong. It's an invasion of privacy.

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    Re: Feds push for tracking cell phones

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Okay lefties, what say you now? Is it still wrong?
    Not a lefty or a righty, but yeah -- it's wrong no matter who says it's necessary.
    I'm already gearing up for Finger Vote 2014.

    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

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    Re: Feds push for tracking cell phones

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
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    Okay lefties, what say you now? Is it still wrong?
    It was wrong under Bush and it's wrong under Obama.

    A scary thing is right now is all the Feds have to do is subpoena Google and they can get massive amounts of information for really almost any individual. Shopping habits, emails, GPS locations, chat logs, Phone conversations, Contacts, etc.
    Last edited by Gibberish; 02-11-10 at 02:32 PM.
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