Justice Department Seeks Cell Phone Details Without Warrant

February 15th, 2010 - 8:56 pm ICT by GD  

By Gina Gomez
phinePhiladelphia, Feb 15, (THAINDIAN NEWS) The United States government has reiterated during a court hearing on Friday that it should be given the right to retrieve the cell phone records of the citizens, which it was argued would be very fruitful in tracking suspected offenders. The arguments were heard on Friday by the U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia in a drug-trafficking case.

The court hearing on Friday witnessed a bone of contention between the Justice Department and electronic privacy groups, who have emphasized that the practice would raise severe privacy issues. During the hearing, the Justice Department stressed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation or other police agencies do not require a search warrant to obtain information about the location of the cell phone users. Mark Eckenwiler, a Justice Department lawyer reiterated that there is no constitutional bar that would prevent government from using a tracking device. At the same time, the Justice Department also urged the federal court to dismiss a lower court’s ruling against reviving cell information about suspected criminals from communication companies.

However, the attorneys of Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union emphasized that obtaining such information would be an invasion in privacy. At the same time, it has been emphasized that the government should have a search warrant to gain the cell phone information about an individual as well as they should furnish the cause that makes them feel that the details would provide evidence of a crime. However, if the verdict goes in favor of the Justice Department, it would mean that the people would be always carrying a tracking device in their pockets.

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