A federal appeals court on Wednesday said the authorities do not need a probable-cause warrant to track a suspect’s every move via the GPS signals emitted from a suspect’s mobile phone.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling 2-1, upheld a 20-year term for a drug courier nabbed with 1,100 pounds of marijuana in a motorhome camper the authorities tracked via his mobile phone pinging cell towers from Arizona to a Texas truck stop.
The decision, a big boost for the government’s surveillance powers, comes as prosecutors are shifting their focus to warrantless cell-tower location tracking of suspects in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling in January sharply limiting the use of GPS vehicle trackers. The Supreme Court found law enforcement should acquire probable-cause warrants from judges to affix GPS devices to vehicles and monitor their every move.
» via Wired
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