Saturday, March 21, 2009

Obama administration defends use of cell site locations related to calls before 3rd Circuit

The Obama administration is maintaining that the Fourth Amendment provision regarding search and seizure will not apply to cell-site information about cell phone calls placed by cell phone customers.

Privacy advocates have been concerned that even cell tower location information could be used to trackdown the coordinates of citizens without probable cause.

The administration’s position is explained in a brief to the 3rd Circuit in an order directing a telecommunications provider to disclose records to the government, link here.

The information does not include the contents of the call.

The Wired story, (link here) dated March 17, 2009, is by David Kravets and was also put in the headlines on Electronic Frontier Foundation’s news.

Even so, the telecommunications records could sometimes prove useful to individuals, such as to establish an alibi. Or it could help law enforcement track movements of terrorists in some cases.

Picture: cell phone tower in Everglades in south Florida, Nov. 2004

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