Is Your Local Law Enforcement Tracking Your Cell Phone’s Location? (Map)

In a massive coordinated information-seeking campaign, 35 ACLU affiliates filed over 380 requests in 31 states with local law enforcement agencies large and small to uncover when, why and how they are using cell phone location data to track Americans:


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3 Comments on "Is Your Local Law Enforcement Tracking Your Cell Phone’s Location? (Map)"

  1. Before the Alex Jones Brigade jumps in screaming about how 1984 has arrived and a vast conspiracy is attempting to put the mark of the beast on every man, woman and child, I urge people to follow the link and look at the records the ACLU has received in reply from your hometown.

    The SLC police requested protected cell phone records 40 times in 2011 (roughly once per week). The first five cell phone tracing data were for frightening, NWO scenarios (not) including: 

    – Case 1: Police request a real-time trace on the cellphone number given by a gunshot victim of the person he alleged who shot him 2 hours before.

    – Case 2: Geolocation data requested on cell phone of a female who called to say she was involved in a violent fight with her boyfriend before the phone went dead. 

    – Case 3: Cell geo data requested of a person reported to police as being suicidal whose whereabouts are unknown. 

    – Case 4: Cell geo data requested of man who called saying he was about to kill himself before hanging up. No answer to three callbacks.

    – Case 5: Man reported to be waving a gun in public — license plate is of Hertz rental car. Police requested GPS trace on Hertz rental car. Hertz said they had no GPS in that car. 

    For the record, I’m opposed to the use of GPS in any of these 5 instances with only a subpeona instead of a warrant. However, the surest way to guarantee the GPS access law is never tightened is for the average disinfo user to start ranting about how GPS tracking is part of a reptilian conspiracy to enslave the human race by the people who shot JFK. Unfortunately, these are currently the kind of people who are interjecting themselves into the conversation. If you are the stereotypical disinfo reader or contributor and want to help, donate money to the ACLU but please please please, don’t open your mouth even one inch to offer your opinion. You’ll do more harm than good.

    • I largely agree that warrants instead of subpeonas should be required, however, according to the released records, the only case of my police department using cell phone data to (in the words of the author of this post) “TRACK AMERICANS!!!!” is from a 911 call by a person who said he had a chronic brain injury and could not remember his address but needed emergency help. 

      In this instance, should police go to a court to get a warrant from a judge or have access to a faster mechanism like faxing in a form to the phone company to request geolocation data? 

      In either case, you’re right that these are serious questions that deserve a more tempered and rational discussion than is probably about to happen here on Crazy Central.

  2. Howard Brazee | Apr 4, 2012 at 9:38 am |

    My state is gray – I wonder what that means.   I infer that it either means “yes” or “no”.

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