ACLU Applauds Virginia Bill Restricting Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

ACLU Applauds Virginia Bill Restricting Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking

Play associated audio
Virginia police now need a warrant to live track someone's cell phone.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/40269805@N03/3704369968
Virginia police now need a warrant to live track someone's cell phone.

Virginia Del. Bob Marshall (R-Loudoun) and the Virginia ACLU are on the same side of a new law that limits how far police can go when tracking people. Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed the cell phone-tracking bill, which was sponsored by Marshall.

A smartphone is often one's link to business and social life. It’s a remote-control, mobile gaming device, and a GPS when lost. The latter is also how law enforcement can know a person’s every move.

Prior to this law, without someone’s knowledge and without a warrant, police could hone in on his location. Marshall says it’s alarming that many people who don't think they're doing anything wrong are either oblivious or just don't care that law enforcement has that capability and has been using it.

"There are so many federal laws and regulations that end up making innocent things into felonies — Mother Teresa could be convicted of something," Marshall says. "The bill that I authored says police have to have a warrant to go do live tracking cell phone. We have an exception for an emergency like if a child has a cell phone and the child is lost."

The state ACLU applauds the new law, but says more needs to be done. Law enforcement can still see where people were in the past, including political rallies, doctor's offices, or anywhere someone wants to remain private.

The ACLU is urging both the governor and lawmakers to protect historic location information next.

NPR

Centenarian Poet Was A Fearless Guide To 'The Country Of Old Age'

Poet and author Margaret Howe Freydburg died last week at 107; she wrote and published well past her 100th birthday. Her friend Nancy Slonim Aronie has an appreciation of a remarkable woman.
NPR

Margaret Hamburg Ends Six-Year Run As FDA Commissioner

Margaret Hamburg ended her run this week as one of the longest serving Food and Drug Administration commissioners in recent decades.
NPR

Sen. Robert Menendez Indicted On Corruption Charges

Sen. Menendez of New Jersey has been indicted on corruption charges. These are the first criminal charges brought against a sitting U.S. Senator in seven years.
NPR

Still Need A Lawn Yeti? Good News — SkyMall May Be Cleared For Relaunch

The in-flight catalog went bankrupt earlier this year. But its new owners say SkyMall catalogs might make their way back to airplane seatbacks soon.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.