Even The Avengers Need to Goof Off Sometimes
Just whatever you do, don't laugh at the Hulk. That would make him angry. And you wouldn't like him when he's angry. [boing boing]
Appeals Court: Warrantless Phone GPS Tracking is A-OK
So let me get this straight. If a Federal agent plants a GPS device on the underside of my car without a warrant, it's totally illegal. But if that same Federal agent tracks me without a warrant via the GPS transceiver in my phone, everything is hunky-dory? According to a Federal Appeals Court, yes.
The Young Turks report that on Wednesday,
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling 2-1, upheld a 20-year term for a drug courier nabbed with 1,100 pounds of marijuana in a motorhome camper the authorities tracked via his mobile phone pinging cell towers from Arizona to a Texas truck stop. The decision, a big boost for the government's surveillance powers, comes as prosecutors are shifting their focus to warrantless cell-tower location tracking of suspects in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling in January sharply limiting the use of GPS vehicle trackers.
It's always reassuring to see when those charged with enforcing the laws of this country do everything they can to run end-arounds on those very same laws to make their jobs easier.[420 Times]
Warrants? Illinois Cops Don't Need No Stinkin' Warrants to Wiretap "Drug Suspects"
House Bill 4081, which Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed into law late last month, is a boon for undercover narcotics officers. Not only does the legislation exclude drug investigations from state anti-wiretapping regulations, it also grants officers the right to record video and audio of suspects without obtaining a warrant. Under the new law, officers don't need to prove probable cause to a judge (as is required to obtain a warrant), they only must prove reasonable cause to a prosecutor in order to begin surveillance. Judges do still retain the right to bar such evidence from trial. Read more at Drug War Chronicles.
Jeez, how are these things still legal? [The Awesomer]