Tag Archive | ACLU

Texas proposes one of nation’s “most sweeping” mobile privacy laws

by Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, March 6, 2013

Privacy experts say that a pair of new mobile privacy bills recently introduced in Texas are among the “most sweeping” ever seen. And they say the proposed legislation offers better protection than a related privacy bill introduced this week in Congress.If passed, the new bills would establish a well-defined, probable-cause-driven warrant requirement for all location information. That’s not just data from GPS, but potentially pen register, tap and trace, and tower location data as well. Such data would be disclosed to law enforcement “if there is probable cause to believe the records disclosing location information will provide evidence in a criminal investigation.”

For full text of the article, please visit Texas proposes one of nation’s “most sweeping” mobile privacy laws | Ars Technica.


Seattle mayor ends police drone efforts

USA Today, February 7, 2013

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s mayor on Thursday ordered the police department to abandon its plan to use drones after residents and privacy advocates protested. Mayor Mike McGinn said the department will not use two small drones it obtained through a federal grant….The decision comes as the debate over drones heats up across the country. Lawmakers in at least 11 states are looking at plans to restrict the use of drones over their skies amid concerns the vehicles could be exploited to spy on Americans.

For full text of the article, visit Seattle mayor ends police drone efforts.


Are Drones Watching You?

The article “Are Drones Watching You?” provides a nice summary of U.S. case law regarding aerial surveillance with links to the cases.

By Jennifer Lynch, EFF, January 10, 2012

Today, EFF filed suit against the Federal Aviation Administration seeking information on drone flights in the United States. The FAA is the sole entity within the federal government capable of authorizing domestic drone flights, and for too long now, it has failed to release specific and detailed information on who is authorized to fly drones within US borders.

For full text of the article, visit Are Drones Watching You? | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

FOIA Request for FBI Data Mining, Mapping

ACLU Seeking FOIA to See FBI Data Mining, Mapping Efforts

The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking records from 29 states and the District of Columbia about the “collection and use of race and ethnicity data in local communities.” The ACLU is raising concerns about data collection and mapping based on the 2008 “FBI Domestic Intelligence and Operations Guide” that activity.

For full text of article, click here.

Source: All Points Blog, Directions Magazine, July 28, 2010

Federal Court Constitution Protects Stored Cell Phone Location Information


A federal court ruled September 10th that stored cell phone location information is protected by the Fourth Amendment.  The court said the government needed a warrant, based on probable cause, in order to gain access to stored cell phone location information.  Other courts have required probable cause for law enforcement access to real-time cell phone location information; however, this decision is particularly important because it extends the probable cause requirement to stored location information.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation, joined by CDT, ACLU and the ACLU of Pennsylvania, had argued for the warrant requirement that the court adopted in an amicus curiae brief filed in July. September 11, 2008

Federal Court Decision [PDF], September 10, 2008: http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/celltracking/lenihanorder.pdf

Amicus Brief in the Case [PDF], July 31, 2008: http://www.cdt.org/security/20080731_lenihan_amicus.pdf

Source: Center for Democracy & Technology, September 11, 2008

Who’s tracking us through our cellphones?


Here are two stories in the news this past month regarding tracking the locations of mobile phones:


Is the Government Tracking Us Through Our Cellphones? Lawsuit Seeks Answers


By Matt Richtel


How widely is the U.S. government using cell phones to pinpoint the locations or track the movements of Americans, or people living on American soil?


In November 2007, the American Civil Liberties filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Justice seeking records related to such tracking practices. The DOJ did not provide the requested information, the ACLU said.


And so Tuesday, the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit in federal court to try to force the DOJ to comply.


In a press release, the ACLU said that the information about how and how often the government tracks Americans using cell phones needs to come to light to determine if the efforts are unconstitutional.


The ACLU said it filed the initial data request after media reports showed that some government officials were claiming not to require “probable cause” of a crime being committed before getting court permission to do real-time tracking of cell phones.


Source: Matt Richtel, New York Times Bits Blog, July 1, 2008


For full text of the article: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/is-the-government-tracking-us-through-our-cellphones-lawsuit-seeks-answers/index.html?ref=technology



Attorney Patrick Mueller forwarded the following story:


Northeastern University researchers observed the travel patterns of 100,000 cell phone users without their consent for a physics study published yesterday, says an Associated Press report. The study tracked individuals by noting which cell phone towers picked up their signals when they made or received calls or text messages over a period of six months. Co-author of the study Cesar Hidalgo said that knowing people’s travel patterns can benefit society in terms of designing better transportation systems and fighting diseases. But some say this type of nonconsensual tracking is troubling. “There is plenty going on here that sets off ethical alarm bells about privacy and trustworthiness,” said Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania.


Source: Seth Borenstein, Associated Press, June 4, 2008


For full text of the article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080604.wgtcellstudy0604/BNStory/Technology/

See also: http://www.geoplace.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=8F161EEEB3F947659F77EBDB4BE86377

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