Digital rights advocates are criticizing the telecom industry's silence on one of the great controversies of our day: whether police need a warrant to track people's location via their cellphones. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case on the issue on Nov. 29.
A group of House lawmakers from both sides of the aisle has agreed to support extending the FISA Amendments Act, the law authorizing warrantless surveillance by the National Security Agency, through 2023. It is currently set to expire at the end of this year. In exchange for their support, the group will push for changes and restrictions on the law that would bring it more in line with general search procedures. The restrictions are opposed by the Trump administration.
The mere fact that someone is under suspicion for a crime is not enough to justify a warrant for that person's cellphone. The mere fact that most people have a cellphone is not enough to justify a warrant. A warrant issued with no more specific reason than those is unconstitutional, the influential D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently.
The recent arrest of a young man from Greenfield raises some important questions as to whether the drug charges against him will hold up in court. He was charged in Milwaukee County with possession of THC and possession of nitrous oxide with intent to inhale.