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Judge denies law on warrantless cellphone tracking

News by Dan Seifert on Thursday November 17, 2011.

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A U.S. District Court judge in Texas has ruled that a law that allowed the government to obtain cellphone records without a warrant is unconstitutional. The judge said that obtaining information such as a phone's location when a call was placed requires a warrant, as per the Constitution.

Judge Lynn N. Hughes kept her decision brief, stating "The records would show the date, time, called number, and location of the telephone when the call was made. These data are constitutionally protected from this intrusion."

A 1986 law - the Electronic Communications Privacy Act - allows law enforcement officials access to some email communications and cellphone records without a prior search warrant. However, the judge determined that location data is not one of the things that law enforcement can access without a search warrant. [via Wall Street Journal]

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Dan Seifert
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.

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