The FBI is now actively pushing for the tracking of all cell phones. “On Friday, the first federal appeals court to consider the topic will hear oral arguments in a case that could establish new standards for locating wireless devices.”
The article on CNET also says… “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.”
Obama taught constitutional law for awhile. I think he knows about the fourth amendment.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
This is very straightforward. Cell phones are personal effects. Just like a car. Just like a home. Just like a boat. According to NOLO’s PLAIN-ENGLISH LAW DICTIONARY, it says Personal Effects are… “An expression often found in wills to refer to the personal property that the will maker owns at death. For example, ‘I leave my personal effects to my daughter Jane.'”
Cell phones definitely fall into the “personal effects” category. You own them. You use them. You customize them. And you put even more of your other personal effects on them in the form of photos, music, movies and ringtones. To say “a customer’s Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when the phone company reveals to the government its own records” is akin to saying a captain’s right to anything on his boat is null and void because he doesn’t own the water he is sailing on.
Law enforcement needs a warrant to secure any and all “personal effects” from an individual. A warrant issued from a judge with specific definitions and criteria for law enforcement to follow so they do not abuse their own power or the power of the state. If a criminal matter involves an individual’s personal effects, the information to be gathered to be used as evidence in a court of law must be obtained by a warrant-approved search.
The abandonment of warrants for gathering evidence is very wrong. That the Obama administration is actively pursuing this is nauseating.
The Obama administration is doing the exact same things that the Republican administration was doing before. He is wanting to actively infringe on individual rights.
I did not vote for Obama in order for him to implement more of the same.
Congratulations, Mr President. Your actions are successfully pushing me back to the “dark” side. And it hasn’t even been your full term yet.
If this policy is passed, and you sign it into law or endorse it through a signing statement or even approve of it by inaction to stop it from becoming implemented, I will strive toward rectifying what is now seeming more and more like a terrible mistake when I voted for you the first time.
Have you ever wondered why the Tea-Bag party, loony and disorganized as they seem, are gaining momentum? Why people are paying attention to them?
Hope < Trust
I don’t want the Tea-Bag party to come to power as they are. But I definitely don’t want this tracking plan implemented.
Here’s the cell phone story on CNET…
…and here’s the legalese.