|Congress wants to track your cell phone without a search warrant.|
Bill of Rights - Both the Democrat Senate and GOP House have refused to act on bills to require search warrants
- Bills by both Democrat Ron Wyden and Republican Rand Paul are ignored.
- Creating a Big Government Police State is totally bi-partisan.
Fighting an up-hill battle for the Constitution, this week Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will offer an amendment to cybersecurity legislation that would require law enforcement officials to follow the Bill of Rights and obtain a search warrant before obtaining location data from a person's cell phone or laptop.
Neither the leadership nor the rank and file of either party has any interest in requiring that police use search warrants.
The bill — called the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act — hasn't seen any action since Wyden introduced it last year with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). With the August recess and the presidential election on the horizon, the cybersecurity bill could be Wyden’s last chance to move the GPS measure through the 112th Congress reports The Hill newspaper.
The GPS Act aims to clarify how much evidence police and law enforcement agencies need to track someone remotely and access information about their movements. It would also specify when companies should respond to law enforcement requests for such information.
(Congress has already refused to act on Senator Rand Paul's bill requiring search warrants for drones to spy on Americans. See our article THE FEDERALIST - "Senate ignores Rand Paul's bill requiring search warrants." )
"Because the law has not kept up with the pace of innovation, it makes sense to include the GPS Act’s requirement that law enforcement obtain a warrant for GPS tracking in the Cybersecurity Act.
This will protect Americans’ location information from misuse," Wyden said in a statement. "Part of the goal of the cybersecurity legislation is to update rules for information collection and privacy for the digital age, which is what the GPS Act is all about.”
The Supreme Court ruled this year that police need to obtain a warrant before attaching a GPS device to a person's car, but didn't specify whether law enforcement would need to procure the same evidence when tracking a person's movements via other types of geolocation devices, such as a smartphone.
Police routinely track cell phones without a warrant.
Since the Supreme Court ruling, Wyden has argued his bill is needed to clear up that confusion and ensure people's information is still protected with the advent of new location technology.
In addition to the GPS Act, Wyden plans to file amendments that would narrow the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) measures in the bill and state that the international cooperation-related provisions could not be interpreted "to authorize the president to enter into a binding international agreement establishing disciplines on cybersecurity without advice and consent of the Senate," according to a Wyden spokesman. (The Hill)