Government Pushing for Location Tracking without Warrants

Jim Harper of the Technology Liberation Front has an excellent explanation of the issues at stake with this court case.

The government can maintain this position because of the retrograde “third party doctrine.” That doctrine arose from a pair of cases in the early 1970s in which the Supreme Court found no Fourth Amendment problems when the government required service providers to maintain records about their customers, and later required those service providers to hand the records over to the government.

Jim puts his finger on why this critical, that it could extend the reach of surveillance into any number of network based services without any sort of oversight or 4th Amendment considerations. I would welcome any input from my lawyer friends as to whether the 3rd Circuit has traditionally ruled predominantly one way or another in cases like this one.

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