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|Thursday, December 13, 2012|
Federal appeals court rules data stored on cell phones not protected
Rebecca DiLeonardo at 3:33 PM ET
Rapid changes in technology have left legal questions about the extent of digital privacy protection. The Senate Judiciary Committee last month approved a bill [JURIST report] that would prevent police from searching e-mails and other electronic content without a warrant. Currently, law enforcement agents only need a warrant to access e-mails less than six months old. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in September asked the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to reconsider a case [JURIST report] in which it decided that police use of GPS tracking on a person's cell phone is not an illegal search under the Fourth Amendment. In July a member of the US House of Representatives released a report showing an increase in requests by law enforcement [JURIST report] agencies to access cell phone records from major wireless carriers. In March the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled [JURIST report] that a warrantless search of a suspect's cell phone to obtain the suspect's phone number is not a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Last year a federal court ordered the Department of Justice to release information [JURIST report] about when it had used cell phone location data to track down suspects in a suit filed by the ACLU.
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