Judge Rejects DOJ’s Secrecy Argument That Public Doesn’t Know How to Evade Location Tracking

By: Wednesday October 1, 2014 9:33 am

In a case involving a Freedom of Information Act request for information related to government policies and procedures for law enforcement use of cell phone tracking, a federal judge has ordered the release of records, which the Justice Department sought to keep secret by claiming they would “alert law violators”—otherwise known as criminals—to how to evade detection.

The ACLU in Northern California and San Francisco Bay Guardian filed a lawsuit seeking documents on location tracking technology on July 31, 2012. The Justice Department has produced a few documents but has continued to insist that many of the documents requested are “work product” so they are protected from disclosure. The agency has also refused to search for documents that were requested.


NSA Collects Leaked Location Data from Mobile Apps in Ad-Targeting Efforts

By: Wednesday December 11, 2013 10:15 am

Latest revelations from National Security Agency documents from former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden renew focus on the need for online companies to provide users with better controls so “unique identifiers” do not aid the government in warrantless surveillance.

NSA Has a Massive Program Which ‘Incidentally’ Collects Cell Location Data of Millions of Americans

By: Wednesday December 4, 2013 4:01 pm

New documents from former National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden show the NSA is storing location data from “at least hundreds of millions of devices.”

The Washington Post’s Barton Gellman and Ashkan Koltani write, “The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world.”

DOJ Hid Routine Use of ‘Stingray’ Surveillance Technology From Federal Magistrate Judges

By: Wednesday March 27, 2013 2:55 pm

The FBI currently uses technology, which acts as a fake cell phone tower to track and locate phones being used by targets. Known as “Stingray,” the technology can locate, interfere and intercept communications.

The use of this technology is being challenged in the case of Daniel Rigmaiden, a “hacker” who was indicted on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and identity theft in 2008. Rigmaiden has sought discovery evidence on how government agents were able to locate and track him and maintains that the use of a StingRay device to catch him was illegal as it was done without a warrant.

US Law Enforcement’s Explosion in Cell Phone Surveillance

By: Monday July 9, 2012 11:15 am

Wireless carriers have experienced an “explosion” in surveillance over the last five years. Carriers have responded to at least 1.3 million demands for “subscriber data” during the last year and have been “turning over records thousands of times a day in response to police emergencies, court orders, law enforcement subpoenas and other requests,” according to Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times.

ACLU Details How US Law Enforcement Tracks Cell Phones Without a Warrant

By: Monday April 2, 2012 2:46 pm

Public records from local and state law enforcement agencies reveal a significant number of law enforcement agencies in the United States use cell phone tracking even if they do not have a warrant or probable cause to engage in such surveillance. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which requested and obtained the records, finds the [...]

ACLU’s New Project to Uncover Details on Law Enforcement Use of Location Tracking

By: Wednesday August 3, 2011 6:20 pm

The ACLU has launched a massive effort with more than thirty of its state affiliates to uncover just how law enforcement agencies, large and small, are using cell phone location data to track Americans. The national organization and its affiliates submitted 379 requests through state Freedom of Information (FOI) laws and hope to unearth documentary evidence to show just how law enforcement is using new technology to invade Americans’ privacy.

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