Okay - so I want to track your every move and I am Big Brother - Cool right?



Suppose I approached you with a request. I want you to carry a small gadget that will automatically transmit your location to the police, allowing them to track your every movement 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Chances are you would politely decline.

Too late. You already accepted.

That gadget, you see, is called a cell phone. For years, the cops may have been using it to keep close tabs on you without your knowledge, even if you have done nothing wrong.

They don't have to get a search warrant — which would limit them to situations where they can show some reason to think you're breaking the law. All they have to do is tell a judge that the information is relevant to a criminal investigation and send a request to your service provider.

This does not appear to be an uncommon event. Al Gidari, an attorney for several service providers, told Newsweek they now get "thousands of these requests per month."

Oh, and the data are not limited to your movements today or in the future. The government can also see records of where you've been in the past. So if you got skittish and decided to stop packing a wireless communications device, your privacy would still be at risk.

You can be vulnerable even if the police have no particular interest in you. Michael Sussmann, another lawyer for service providers, said in 2006 that sometimes, "we get a subpoena for information on one person and then they want all the information on the persons calling or called by them."

These developments explain why a coalition of organizations and companies — including Google, AT&T, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union — have joined in asking Congress to drag our privacy laws into the 21st century. They think search warrants should be required before law enforcement can demand this sort of electronic communications information.

You might assume unchecked government surveillance of innocent people went out of style when George W. Bush took his leave. But this is one of those instances that seem designed to show the futility of trying to change policy by changing the party in power. Barack Obama's Justice Department also insists it should have the authority to conduct such tracking without a warrant.

Some judges don't buy it. A couple of years ago, a federal court in Pennsylvania said the practice was at odds with both federal law and the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids "unreasonable searches and seizures." Cell-phone location tracking, the judge concluded, invades the privacy Americans have a right to expect



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Replies to This Discussion

Let's discuss this further, I'll call you...
No really where are you - I will call you!

Interesting but we are probably the only people in Amerika without a cell phone...now can they track me with my kindle? jk
and Jeff - thanks for always reading my stuff and taking time to reply!
Yeah, we don't need a cell phone for anything although we do have a land line for emergencies although we've never had one.

I always read everything posted here, by everyone I like anyway.


Billybob Cornfed said:
and Jeff - thanks for always reading my stuff and taking time to reply!
@ Billybob

I was told that removing the battery from a cel phone will solve a lot of problems.

Can you comment on that. and is it legal to....

Larry from Canada
Cell phones are your own personal property and yes, your cell phone should cease to "utilize" the GPS function - it also would not be in contact with the local cell tower so to give a broad "where" you are - you could also get someone else to buy a phone for you - in the USA they are really trying to keep track of who has what cell phone...they say it is for keeping track of terrorist but I think we all know that was a setup to impose Big Brother...

Here on the reservation we do not have street addresses which has made it particularly difficult to get a cell phone - usually the "Navajo terrorist" haha - have to make an address up - but when ya live 150 miles from town whaddya gonna do?
I see you are talking about how they "Ping" you if they really wanted to know your whereabouts instead of going about it the old fashioned way. What you have said gives me another reason why I don't need a Cell phone. Pinging, has been common practice for quite a while now. This is why I don't have a Cell now.
For the web this helps a little for firefox - noscript plugin http://noscript.net/getit
It takes some getting used to but certainly limits the amount of companies getting your info.

For the phone I like using paid non contract no ID required companies. I use pagepluscellular found everywhere these days.
Interesting James - while we do not have a cell phone - the internet would be another way to always find all of us on here....I log on the Kindle when I am away from my desk...so they could probably find me easily. Which brings up an interesting article in Wired some months back...a guy was trying to disappear and the challenge was to find him...he was found in the end due to his eating habits...after a few months on the road.

James aka adap2k said:
For the web this helps a little for firefox - noscript plugin http://noscript.net/getit
It takes some getting used to but certainly limits the amount of companies getting your info.

For the phone I like using paid non contract no ID required companies. I use pagepluscellular found everywhere these days.
US lawmakers target pre-paid cellphone anonymity http://bit.ly/cQjRI9
I also saw an article recently that w/ some new ap that they can even listen to your calls as you are walking or whatever. I think this may fall under the "roving warrants".


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