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

'Game Of Thrones' Evolves On Women In Explosive Sixth Season

The sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones showed a real evolution in the way the show portrays women and in the season finale, several female characters ascended to power. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to Glen Weldon from NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour and Greta Johnsen, host of the Nerdette podcast, about the show.
NPR

In Quest For Happier Chickens, Perdue Shifts How Birds Live And Die

Perdue Farms, the fourth-largest poultry company in the country, says it will change its slaughter methods and also some of its poultry houses. Animal welfare groups are cheering.
NPR

Hawaii Law Places Gun Owners Into National Database

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with Hawaii State Sen. Will Espero about gun control legislation passed in the state last week. The legislation makes Hawaii the first state to enter gun owners into an FBI database that notifies police if a resident is arrested elsewhere in the country.
WAMU 88.5

Episode 5: Why 1986 Still Matters

In 1986, a federal official issued a warning: If Metro continued to expand rapidly, the system faced a future of stark choices over maintaining existing infrastructure. Metro chose expansion. We talk to a historian about that decision. We also hear from a former Metro general manager about the following years, and from an Arlington planner about measuring how riders are responding to SafeTrack.

Leave a Comment

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