FBI Admits Warrantless Cellphone Tapping

FBI investigators for at least five years have routinely used a sophisticated cellphone tracking tool that can pinpoint callers’ locations and listen to their conversations — all without getting a warrant for it, a federal court was told this week.

The use of the “Stingray,” as the tool is called, “is a very common practice” by federal investigators, Justice Department attorneys told the U.S. District Court for Arizona Thursday, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

via Washington Times.

This is but the latest intrusion in our private lives by an over zealous and over reaching government of jack-booted thugs.

Where is Eric Holder on this?  He’s the head of the DOJ… and that head should roll.  If Holder had any dignity he would have resigned a long time ago.  It’s time for Congress to step-up the efforts to get Holder out.

Naturally, the complacent media is going to bury this story.

Cell Carriers Asked for Your Data

In the first public accounting of its kind, cellphone carriers reported that they responded to a startling 1.3 million demands for subscriber information last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations.

The cellphone carriers’ reports, which come in response to a Congressional inquiry, document an explosion in cellphone surveillance in the last five years, with the companies turning over records thousands of times a day in response to police emergencies, court orders, law enforcement subpoenas and other requests.

via NYTimes.com.

We’re very close to the junction of Fahrenheit 451 and 1984.

No Warrant Needed to Search Cell Phone

… The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled it is now legal for police to search cell phones without a warrant.  …

The decision stems from an Indiana case where police arrested a man for dealing drugs. An officer searched the suspect’s cell phone without warrant.

The judge in the appeal case, Judge Richard Posner, agreed that the officer had to search the phone immediately or risk losing valuable evidence. Judge Posner ruled it was a matter of urgency, arguing it was possible for an accomplice to wipe the phone clean using a computer or other remote device.

Defenbaugh says the ruling takes into account exigent or time-sensitive circumstances that could be life saving in more urgent cases, such as child abduction. ”If the child is alive and you’re only minutes behind, that could be critical to recovering that child alive,” added Defenbaugh.

via CBS Dallas / Fort Worth.

Again, the 7th Circuit shows that it’s inept.  This case needs to go upstairs to the USSC and be corrected right away.

Note that the actual facts of the case so not present any “child abduction” or any other life or death situation.  Yet this is the hypothetical the court relies on in order to make its case.

It again reminds me of the Simpson’s.

There were no facts in this case that present any “exigent circumstances” that required police to take immediate action (yes, I know this sentence is redundant.)

And even IF the police were concerned about the spoliation of evidence by someone other than the person in custody using a computer to delete evidence on the cell phone there is a very simply solution.  TURN OFF THE PHONE.  Take it back to the lab and let the boys and girls with glasses and pocket-protectors have at it — AFTER YOU HAVE THE WARRANT.

This is another example of our civil rights being eroded by a government that wants absolute control over every aspect of your life.