Friday, September 24, 2021

ACLU Sues Government Over Secretly Using Cellular Phone GPS Data

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The national government is secretly buying and using our mobile phone location info to find and monitor people in the USA, such as for law enforcement. We are suing to deliver several much-needed transparencies to those disturbing practices.

The GPS information used by several programs is frequently offered to other businesses for marketing and other functions.

On the other hand, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) this week asserted that, based on reports earlier in the year, a few of those organizations are selling it to government agencies.

That raises a constitutional problem, as it seems as though the federal government is hoping to bypass the Fourth Amendment, which protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures by the authorities. The ACLU contended that, rather, the agencies involved must be searching for legitimate court warrants to monitor folks.

“There is more reason for an alert when those bureaus evade asks for advice — such as from US senators — about these practices,” that the ACLU argued.

“That is why now we asked a federal court to intervene and purchase DHS, CBP, and ICE to publish details regarding their purchase and application of exact mobile phone location info.

Especially, the ACLU would like to observe each one of the bureaus’ recordings of purchase to get the location information, such as policies, contracts and processes for usage, communications with advertising businesses, legal records, and much more.

It contended a 2018 Supreme Court judgment, Carpenter vs the United States, confirmed that government agencies can’t request private location data from a telephone company without first obtaining a search warrant by a judge.

These practices raise serious issues that national authorities are evading Fourth Amendment protections for mobile phone location info by paying for accessibility rather than receiving a warrant. There is more reason for an alert when those bureaus evade asks for advice — such as U.S. senators — about these practices. That is why now we asked a federal court to intervene and purchase DHS, CBP, and ICE to publish details regarding their purchase and application of exact mobile phone location info.

We are asking the agencies to turn over all documents associated with their purchase and application of mobile phone location information, such as policies, contracts and processes for usage, communications with businesses, legal investigations, and much more.

One of the questions we seek solutions to is the way the authorities can justify getting sensitive mobile phone location data without obtaining a search warrant. Since Chief Justice Roberts composed, these documents deserve security because mapping a phone’s location”gives an intimate window into an individual’s life, showing not just his specific moves, but through them ‘familial, political, professional, spiritual, and sexual relationships. ”’

If law enforcement agencies may purchase their way around the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, the landmark security declared by the Supreme Court at Carpenter would probably be at risk.

Despite national agencies spending thousands and thousands of bucks on access to mobile phone place databases, these agencies haven’t publicly clarified their private justifications or inner limits on access to the invasive info.

Over nine months later we filed a petition for advice under the Freedom of Information Act, DHS, CBP, and ICE have to supply us with one responsive record. DHS has refused to supply its legal memorandum about those methods to U.S. senators who’ve asked it.

The public wants to know how the bureaus are getting majority databases of Americans’ place data and the reason why. Today’s lawsuit intends to learn.

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Priyanshu Vijayvargiya
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Virtualattacks Inc' Priyanshu Vijayvargiya is a cybersecurity analyst, Information Security professional, developer, and a white hat hacker.

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