Big Brother is Watching You
- The political liar hacks in both parties eagerly expand, fund and protect 1984 Big Brother spying. There is ZERO hope from Congress to protect our Constitutional freedoms.
- The Supreme Court is our last barrier against 1984. The question is will they just roll over and rubber stamp Big Brother?
(Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices signaled on Wednesday they may impose limits on the ability of police to obtain cellphone data from wireless providers to track the location of criminal suspects in a major test of privacy rights in the digital age.
During arguments in the closely watched case involving a convicted robber, several of the nine justices across the ideological spectrum indicated concern about the use of data revealing a suspect's past locations, based on the cellphone towers that relayed calls, without a court-issued warrant.
Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor sounded the alarm about the increasing amount of data that the government can potentially obtain, noting that most Americans "want to avoid Big Brother," referring to the symbolic all-seeing leader in George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984."
"They want to avoid the concept that government will be able to see and locate you anywhere you are at any point in time," Sotomayor said.
The court potentially could rule that the practice by law enforcement authorities of obtaining such data without a warrant amounts to an unreasonable search and seizure under the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment. A ruling is due by the end of June.
The justices heard an extended 80-minute argument in an appeal brought by a man named Timothy Carpenter, convicted in several armed robberies at Radio Shack and T-Mobile stores in Ohio and Michigan with the help of past cellphone location data that linked him to the crime scenes. His American Civil Liberties Union lawyers have argued that without a warrant such data amounts to a Fourth Amendment violation.
There is a possibility the court's four liberal justices could form a majority with one or more of the five conservatives, potentially including Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's newest member, Neil Gorsuch, who raised concerns from a property rights, rather than privacy rights, perspective.
The case was heard at a time of increasing concern among many Americans and lawmakers over surveillance practices of law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Roberts mentioned a 2014 Supreme Court ruling he authored that required police in most instances to obtain a warrant to search a cellphone's contents when its user is arrested. Roberts reiterated what he said then, that smartphones packed with data-rich applications are ubiquitous.
When Trump administration lawyer Michael Dreeben, defending the use of the data without a warrant, said people can choose not to sign up for a phone, Roberts pounced.
"You really don't have a choice these days," Roberts said.
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Total Surveillance Comes
|1984 is Here|
"Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."
- - - Robert A. Heinlein
Read more on the march to 1984:
1984 - Google "Memory Holes" News It Does Not Like
1984 - 'Police Cloud' Mines Data to Track Population's Every Move
Saying "Tranny" Causes Police To Shut Down Radio Show
Teacher Suspended for Referring to Girl as Girl
1984 - National Guard spying on you without a warrant