Warrants are Now Necessary for Cell Phone Surveillance

September 4, 2015 at 1:31 pm By

If the federal law enforcement decides they are going to keep surveillance on your cell phone they will need a warrant to do so. The US Department of Justice has introduced the new policy that will make it somewhat harder for law enforcement officials to tap into your cell phone for surveillance purposes.

“The devices, called cell site simulators for the way they get nearby mobile phones to reveal their locations, are known for sweeping up large swaths of data on everyday people as part of criminal investigations,” reported Laura Hautala of CNET.

“The new rules require federal agencies such as the FBI, US Marshals Service, and Drug Enforcement Administration to specify in a warrant request how the technology will be used and the safeguards that will be employed to protect the data of passersby who might unintentionally get caught in the surveillance.”

While this is a big win for civil liberties activists, there are still concerns over the technology and what data it’s responsible for collecting. It’s now a question of the site simulators being able to follow constitutional codes when it comes to data collection. In the past law enforcement officials were able toΒ keep surveillance over your mobile devices without a warrant but it’s been made a bit more difficult with the new warrant requirement.

“Federal judges have not always known that they were approving cell site simulators, according to Brian Owsley, a law professor and former magistrate judge in Texas who used to be in charge of approving warrants and pen registers,” according to CNET.

“Owsley has published articles detailing the need for judges to learn more about this technology, and he welcomed the Justice Department’s new requirements that federal law enforcement officials spell out how they will use it.”

Now consumers privacy is being considered a lot more than it has been in the past.

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