ALA OIF BLOG
Jonathan Kelley | May 11, 2012
Updated information on news affecting intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, access to information, and more.
Keith Perine | May 3, 2012
“We have no doubt that such a physical intrusion would have been considered a ‘search’ within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment when it was adopted,” Scalia wrote in an opinion joined by four other justices. But he steered clear of putting any boundaries on GPS monitoring that doesn’t involve physical intrusion, writing that doing so would “lead us needlessly into additional thorny problems.”
Civil libertarians are clinging to two concurring opinions in the case in which five justices seemed to acknowledge the need for clearer ground rules.
Timothy B. Lee | March 7, 2012
A Maryland court last week ruled that the government does not need a warrant to force a cell phone provider to disclose more than six months of data on the movements of one of its customers. Two defendants had been accused of armed robbery, and a key piece of evidence against them was data about the movements of the pair’s cell phones. The defendants had sought to suppress this location evidence because the government did not get a warrant before seeking the data from network providers. But last Thursday, Judge Richard D. Bennett ruled that a warrant is not required to obtain cell-site location records (CSLR) from a wireless carrier.
Courts all over the country have been wrestling with this question, and the government has been on something of a winning streak. While one court ruled last year that such information requests violate the Fourth Amendment, most others have reached the opposite conclusion.
SIOUX CITY JOURNAL
Mike Glover | February 12, 2012
Iowa lawmakers are considering giving police new power to track suspects with GPS devices, but some argue the proposal could infringe on privacy rights.
Supporters of the measure now in the state House said it’s a simple matter of applying new technology to traditional police work.
They note that the measure would require police to ask a judge for a warrant before they could attach a device to a car that uses global positioning system technology to track its movement. If a judge gives the OK, such a device could be used for 30 days.
“If the judge OKs a search warrant, that means there’s possible criminal activity,” said Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield, a retired Iowa State Patrol trooper who sponsored the bill. “It’s the same thing as following somebody without having to use the manpower.”
Others have criticized the measure, saying it would needlessly let government intrude on private lives.
GPS court ruling leave US phone tracking unclear
(AFP | Rob Lever | February 10, 2012)