Monday, October 1, 2012

Bill Introduced to Require Warrant to Search Emails or Trace Cell

A bill has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives that would require that law enforcement authorities obtain a warrant before looking through your emails or tracking your cell phone. Readers of this post know that we have been carefully following this precise issue.  Whether authorities need to obtain a search warrant before looking through your email or tracking your cell phone has been a gray area in the legal arena.  As recently as August of this year, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that police did not need a warrant to get the location information of a suspects cell phone.  The current bill was introduced by Representative Joe Lofgren, a Democrat from California.  The legislation is backed by Microsoft, Google, Apple and Twitter.  The need for legislation to address the various privacy issues that have arisen with the rise of cell phones, and now smart phones, is obvious. Some of the measures that have been used to deal with these privacy issues were enacted back in the days of the regular cell phone. Now with devices using the "cloud" more and more, the time has come for legislation to address the privacy concerns and protect our traditional notions of privacy.

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