So the police have been monitoring our mobile phones – or at least have had the key to doing so – without warrant for a while now. And understandably this newsbreak hasn’t exactly gone down too well with the masses that are now clamoring for an end to such a blatant breach of privacy. The police have been touting this spying activity as being ‘for the safety of the citizens’ and of course for the ‘greater good’ of the country. And while their stance might seem okay – that is when you’re not the one being monitored and unwillingly dragged into police cases – the clatter in protest has gone to a level that the rising decibels could not have been ignored anymore.
California to the fore
While the rest of the U.S. continues to demonstrate against this uncalled for tracking by the police, California has actually taken the step that could set the precedence for other states to follow. A Californian senator has introduced a bill which would prohibit government authorities from monitoring or spying on cell phones without a warrant. State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) has proposed a Penal Code amendment (SB 1434) that would clarify the use of mobile phone tracking.
American Civil Liberties Union
The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) conducted an audit regarding law enforcement agencies’ practices all over the country. It was found out that all most all of the authorities that had anything to do with law, were practicing cell phone tracking without any warrant or subpoena. The authorities used the GPS in the phones or cellular triangulation to trace the whereabouts of their targets, and the thing that bothers the people the most is that you don’t have to be an actual police suspect to be a part of this spying game.
Violating the 1st Amendment
Monitoring someone’s phone without having a probable cause is blatant violation of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. constitution which calls for the “protection of freedom of association.” It’s pretty obvious that the police spying on, and monitoring all the information without any judicial overview couldn’t have lasted forever. This is true for the simple reason that it’s neither justifiable nor reasonable. With the obligation of a search warrant, the police would need a probable cause, and if a judicial authority finds that particular cause just, then the tracking activity would make complete sense.
SB 1434 to protect privacy
With cell phones becoming social hubs on their own, the amount of information that can be unveiled through cell phone tracking knows no bounds. If someone is being tailed or tracked, whenever they move out of their place, the tracker would learn wherever they’re going. That would reveal a lot of private things that would not be relevant to anyone but the person being monitored themselves. Hence, it was always a matter of when, not if, the Supreme Court would bust searches using GPS technology practiced without warrants. And now with the SB 1434, the masses would get their wish of protection against long-term unwarranted monitoring. SB1434 also calls for being strict on search warrants by restricting their timeframe to 30 days. The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate this coming spring, and would be a major step toward the protection of privacy of the American citizens.
Author Bio: Natalia David, an author significantly contributes towards PC and cell phone spy and cell phone tracking. She recently read some good piece of work on news and hence her interest shifted towards technology news. If you want to know more about Natalia you can follow her on twitter @NataliaDavid4