A federal judge has rejected the US Government’s request to track the location of a mobile phone user without a warrant. Federal Magistrate James Orenstein in New York reaffirmed an earlier decision that tracking cell phone users in real time required a showing of probable cause that a crime was being committed.
The fifty-seven page opinion issued this week is available from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Earlier in the month, a magistrate judge in Texas, following the lead of Orenstein’s original decision, published his own decision denying a government application for a cell phone tracking order. According to the EFF, that ruling, along with Judge Orenstein’s two decisions, revealed that the DOJ has routinely been securing court orders for real-time cell phone tracking without probable cause and without any law authorizing the surveillance.
The EFF website also contains links to the following Legal Documents:
Eastern District of New York
Southern District of Texas