SCOTUS says coppers need warrants to track your cellphone — so, Trump just buys locations online


ICE arrest in Los Angeles

Companies that sell your cellphone location data to marketers are also selling that information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the government body known for detaining children in cages. According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal, ICE and its affiliated organizations at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have been using location information for “millions” of cellphones bought from marketers to track down and arrest undocumented immigrants at the US-Mexico border…

Experts told the Journal that these are the “largest known troves of bulk data being deployed by law enforcement in the US.” Venntel, a company that licenses location data and is affiliated with the mobile ad company Gravy Analytics, has received $250,000 in contracts in the past few years from DHS, which operates ICE. Public records show that Venntel has also received a contract from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

“This shows the overlap of immigrant rights and data privacy rights,” Adam Schwartz, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Recode. “Our society has failed to protect consumers from companies that harvest and monetize their personal information, including their sensitive location data. Now, reportedly, the federal government has purchased access to that data, and is using it to locate and deport immigrants.”

Not that the Fake President’s base of voters cares a rat’s ass about what happens to immigrants. Or, what should be important to everyone – he’s using taxpayer dollar$ to buy location info from the creepy online traders who profit from tracking data lifted from the Web. SCOTUS rulings be damned! Trump’s War on Brown People is much more important to the quasi-fascist tool this Republican administration has become.

Supreme Court to rule on GPS surveillance, Fourth Amendment


Tracking gear planted on Arab-American student’s car by FBI

In a series of rulings on the use of satellites and cellphones to track criminal suspects, judges around the country have been citing George Orwell’s “1984” to sound an alarm. They say the Fourth Amendment’s promise of protection from government invasion of privacy is in danger of being replaced by the futuristic surveillance state Orwell described…

Last month, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn turned down a government request for 113 days of location data from cellphone towers, citing “Orwellian intrusion” and saying the courts must “begin to address whether revolutionary changes in technology require changes to existing Fourth Amendment doctrine.”

The Supreme Court is about to do just that. In November, it will hear arguments in United States v. Jones, No. 10-1259, the most important Fourth Amendment case in a decade. The justices will address a question that has divided the lower courts: Do the police need a warrant to attach a GPS device to a suspect’s car and track its movements for weeks at a time?

Their answer will bring Fourth Amendment law into the digital age, addressing how its 18th-century prohibition of “unreasonable searches and seizures” applies to a world in which people’s movements are continuously recorded by devices in their cars, pockets and purses, by toll plazas and by transit systems.

The Jones case will address not only whether the placement of a space-age tracking device on the outside of a vehicle without a warrant qualifies as a search, but also whether the intensive monitoring it allows is different in kind from conventional surveillance by police officers who stake out suspects and tail their cars.

There is little if any difference between the Big Brother practices ordered by George W. Bush and continued by Barack Obama. Either flavor of government agrees with the other that national interest – as defined by the politicians in charge – supersedes any individual right to privacy. No due process or habeus corpus is required because no warrant should be required to spy on anyone in this nation.

For some of you this will come as an affront, a shock. If you don’t fight back, you will not only be required to get used to it – you will be told to “lay back and enjoy it”. Various levels of police, local, state and federal, have been utilizing illicit tactics like this for decades – whether officially banned or not. That’s no reason to give up and stop fighting. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.