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Phrost
12th February 10, 05:10 PM
Transparency now applies to your whereabouts:


Even though police are tapping into the locations of mobile phones thousands of times a year, the legal ground rules remain unclear, and federal privacy laws written a generation ago are ambiguous at best. On Friday, the first federal appeals court to consider the topic will hear oral arguments (PDF) in a case that could establish new standards for locating wireless devices.

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.

Those claims have alarmed the ACLU and other civil liberties groups, which have opposed the Justice Department's request and plan to tell the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia that Americans' privacy deserves more protection and judicial oversight than what the administration has proposed.

"This is a critical question for privacy in the 21st century," says Kevin Bankston, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who will be arguing on Friday. "If the courts do side with the government, that means that everywhere we go, in the real world and online, will be an open book to the government unprotected by the Fourth Amendment."

Not long ago, the concept of tracking cell phones would have been the stuff of spy movies. In 1998's "Enemy of the State," Gene Hackman warned that the National Security Agency has "been in bed with the entire telecommunications industry since the '40s--they've infected everything." After a decade of appearances in "24" and "Live Free or Die Hard," location-tracking has become such a trope that it was satirized in a scene with Seth Rogen from "Pineapple Express" (2008).

Once a Hollywood plot, now 'commonplace'

Whether state and federal police have been paying attention to Hollywood, or whether it was the other way around, cell phone tracking has become a regular feature in criminal investigations. It comes in two forms: police obtaining retrospective data kept by mobile providers for their own billing purposes that may not be very detailed, or prospective data that reveals the minute-by-minute location of a handset or mobile device.

Obtaining location details is now "commonplace," says Al Gidari, a partner in the Seattle offices of Perkins Coie who represents wireless carriers. "It's in every pen register order these days."

Gidari says that the Third Circuit case could have a significant impact on police investigations within the court's jurisdiction, namely Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; it could be persuasive beyond those states. But, he cautions, "if the privacy groups win, the case won't be over. It will certainly be appealed."

CNET was the first to report on prospective tracking in a 2005 news article. In a subsequent Arizona case, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration tracked a tractor trailer with a drug shipment through a GPS-equipped Nextel phone owned by the suspect. Texas DEA agents have used cell site information in real time to locate a Chrysler 300M driving from Rio Grande City to a ranch about 50 miles away. Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile logs showing the location of mobile phones at the time calls became evidence in a Los Angeles murder trial.

And a mobile phone's fleeting connection with a remote cell tower operated by Edge Wireless is what led searchers to the family of the late James Kim, a CNET employee who died in the Oregon wilderness in 2006 after leaving a snowbound car to seek help.

"This is a critical question for privacy in the 21st century. If the courts do side with the government, that means that everywhere we go, in the real world and online, will be an open book to the government unprotected by the Fourth Amendment."
--Kevin Bankston, attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Full article here:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10451518-38.html

BadUglyMagic
12th February 10, 06:16 PM
My bet is on the government.

HappyOldGuy
12th February 10, 06:21 PM
The punchline is that the ultimate fate of this one will probably depend on whether the Obama admin gets to appoint another justice before the case hits the supreme court.

Spade: The Real Snake
12th February 10, 06:49 PM
His wife, The Predator, will be using this to track your dining habits and make sure you are combating childhood obesity (tm).

Artful Dentures
12th February 10, 07:33 PM
This just in

After violating all privacy laws, reading your emails and listening in to your conversations the government has come to the conclusion

That pretty much everyone is boring and lame

Phrost
12th February 10, 07:35 PM
Awesomeness, soon to be outlawed.

Cullion
12th February 10, 09:09 PM
Obama: America's Blair.

Please, study Blair from start to finish.

Cullion
12th February 10, 09:09 PM
Obama: America's Blair.

Please, study Blair from start to finish.

WarPhalange
12th February 10, 09:19 PM
Twice?

Artful Dentures
12th February 10, 09:31 PM
Casue it was so nice

Aaranar
12th February 10, 09:47 PM
Strange. The article I read about this said it was the FBI that wanted this, not the Obama Administration. Six of one, half dozen of the other, I suppose.

Of course, the solution is quite simple : don't buy/use cellphones. Completely neutralizes the tracking danger and punishes the providers for getting in bed with big bro.

Steve
12th February 10, 10:08 PM
But but but, I've turned off the GPS tracking thingy in my phone! They can't get me, right??

SFGOON
12th February 10, 11:14 PM
Did Barack Obama also say that you had to carry your assigned cell phone at all times, keep it on, and register your SIM chip with the DOHS?

As it is, getting a warrant to trace tower pings from someone's cell phone is quite easy; you simply have to demonstrate the person who owns the phone is under investigation for some kind of crime.

Or, if you're not the cops, know a guy who works for the phone company. Alternatively, know how to "social engineer" some of the tech support people for the phone company.

In other news, I was standing in this doorway the other day, and this Fed who worked for the census said "Excuse me, sonny. I've got to re-adhere my dentures!"

I want to know why the fuck Barack Obama thinks he has the right to move through a place where I'm standing. The arrogance of that asshole is intolerable.

Cullion
13th February 10, 06:55 AM
Twice?

Sorry about that. I was experimenting with having 2 internets at once to see if it would be faster.

bob
13th February 10, 07:32 AM
Don't you guys have pay-as-you-go cellphones? I mean, any criminal with half a baked dumpling in their skull is just going to buy one of those.

Odacon
13th February 10, 10:00 AM
Don't you guys have pay-as-you-go cellphones? I mean, any criminal with half a baked dumpling in their skull is just going to buy one of those.

This has nothing to do with fighting crime.

Spade: The Real Snake
13th February 10, 10:43 AM
Don't you guys have pay-as-you-go cellphones? I mean, any criminal with half a baked dumpling in their skull is just going to buy one of those.

Well, now look at the AUSSIE givin' the terrorist ideas.

Don't you love America, son?

Kiko
13th February 10, 10:46 AM
Joke's on them! I only turn my cel phone on when I'm using it.

Vieux Normand
13th February 10, 02:11 PM
What was once a status symbol has now become a leash.

I owned a cell--once--due to the job I had at the time. As soon as I changed jobs, I dumped the stupid thing.

You can get a kick out of people who get hit by cars because they started to walk across a street without ever looking up from their phone.

Then there are the geniuses who take them clubbing. Yep: small, slippery object of some value with lots of personal info and usable features--brought into a dark, crowded warehouse-sized venue...by somebody soon to be pissed out of his/her mind. Surprise, surprise, at closing time: "Have any of you seen my phone? Please, I can't leave without my phone!"

Ajamil
13th February 10, 02:37 PM
Having a pre-paid phone won't stop it from getting tracked.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
13th February 10, 02:50 PM
What was once a status symbol has now become a leash.

I owned a cell--once--due to the job I had at the time. As soon as I changed jobs, I dumped the stupid thing.

You can get a kick out of people who get hit by cars because they started to walk across a street without ever looking up from their phone.

Then there are the geniuses who take them clubbing. Yep: small, slippery object of some value with lots of personal info and usable features--brought into a dark, crowded warehouse-sized venue...by somebody soon to be pissed out of his/her mind. Surprise, surprise, at closing time: "Have any of you seen my phone? Please, I can't leave without my phone!"

Not only is Normand too cool to speak like a pedestrian, he's too cool for cell phones too.

Kiko
13th February 10, 02:54 PM
How is it cool to have strangers pester you when you're not even home?

Cool enough to have to talk to people who aren't where you are at all times, huh?

Keith
13th February 10, 02:54 PM
Having a pre-paid phone won't stop it from getting tracked.

But it may make it difficult to know WHO they're tracking.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
13th February 10, 03:00 PM
How is it cool to have strangers pester you when you're not even home?

Cool enough to have to talk to people who aren't where you are at all times, huh?

Grow a pair of ovaries and press the ignore button when you don't want to take a call. I know you don't have enough friends that your phone is constantly blowing up, Kiko.

Kiko
13th February 10, 03:21 PM
I don't give my friends my cel. They can call me at home. It's for ME to call home if I need to. You can leave my ovaries out of this, they work just fine. How about yours?

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
13th February 10, 03:24 PM
I've been trying for months and I'm still not pregnant.

Kiko
13th February 10, 03:28 PM
It could be him. Sometimes you gotta work at it. Try charting your temperature...

jvjim
13th February 10, 03:38 PM
Cell phones is dildos.

Kiko
13th February 10, 03:45 PM
Are they tracking them too, now?

Lights Out
13th February 10, 06:56 PM
Are they tracking them too, now?

Worried?

jvjim
13th February 10, 07:05 PM
This thread is dildos too.

Kiko
13th February 10, 08:31 PM
Not a bit. Never touch the stuff.

Steve
13th February 10, 08:52 PM
Having a pre-paid phone won't stop it from getting tracked.

Don't you watch Burn Notice? Just throw them away as soon as you're done with them.

:ninjafight:

Steve
13th February 10, 08:55 PM
Cell phones is dildos.

Yes, yes they are. (http://www.homemade-sex-toys.com/cellphone/faq.html)

HappyOldGuy
13th February 10, 09:06 PM
Warning, can be hazardous


http://www.theregister.co.uk/media/380.jpg

Wounded Ronin
14th February 10, 01:29 AM
Think about how mischeviously hilarious it would be when all the idiot small time drug dealers get caught because they're always talking on a Cricket cell phone.

Spade: The Real Snake
14th February 10, 10:15 AM
Obama is using this technology to remotely activate your cell phone and listen to your bowel movements.

SFGOON
15th February 10, 04:29 AM
Whilst masturbating.

Ajamil
15th February 10, 06:46 AM
Masturbating to my bowel movements, or how my bowels move while I'm masturbating?