The Washington Post today ran a Front Page Story about how the government is using cell phones as tracking devices. Sometimes this is done with warrants, sometimes without. Sometimes with probable cause, sometimes without. Privacy advocates object to the government using this technology without appropriate constitutional safeguards. What caught my eye is was that the story says “federal agents tell a carrier they need real-time tracking data in an emergency but fail to follow up with the required court approval. Justice Department officials said to the best of their knowledge, agents are obtaining court approval unless the carriersprovide the data voluntarily.” So first they ask, telling the carrier it’s an emergency and promising court documents, then the carrier voluntarily turns over your data obviating the need for the court documents. Catch-22! I love it!
Seriously, you might recall my earlier post about the benefits of speed-dialing “911” and how it can help police find you in an emergency. Well, this is the flip side of the technology.