Do we have any privacy anymore?
I’ve been aware of this for some time, but having just read this article, I thought I would post it.
(click green link below for full article)
So, we have wireless carriers making web portals available to law enforcement so they can read your emails, what you text, and exactly where you traveled and where you are at this moment without any probable cause or a warrant.
This article refers to 8 million law enforcement requests through just the Sprint portal by law enforcement in the past year.
I wonder how many wives or girlfriends were tracked for kicks by cops? Somehow I don’t think we have millions of terrorist cells in this country, and the fact that cops can do this real time without a warrant or court order is not surprising because the Constitution is basically a piece of toilet paper to many government agents.
The “legality” for this all came from a ruling by a federal judge a few years ago where it was ruled cops don’t need probable cause to place a GPS device on your car to track it.
Realize that turning your cell phone off won’t cut it. You need to remove the battery or leave your cell phone at home if you want to move around with some privacy.
Still, a GPS device could be hidden under your car, so if you are really paranoid you can get a GPS/ Cell Phone Jammer. With one of those small pocket devices turned on you can have your cell phone on you and powered up and this device will block both GPS and triangulation tracking (though you can't use your cell phone while the jamming device is on) and it will also jam a GPS device planted under your car by our ever so benevolent government or a nosy significant other or even a stalker. Your cell phone and any GPS device in your car won’t transmit as long as the jammer is on and you can move around in privacy if you were to feel the need.
Some will say that they have nothing to hide and could care less about being tracked. Well, then you should welcome government cameras and listening devices into your home also.
To realize the magnitude of this, the above article just references Sprint. There are 271 million cell phones in use in the U.S. and Sprint is the 3rd largest provider behind AT&T and Verizon, with T-Mobile not far behind Sprint.
Assuming the other carriers provide web portals like Sprint where cops can just browse where you have been by the exact route you took and where you are at this very moment via your cell phone (as well as possibly read what your emails and text messages sent via your cell phone), and since cops have hit up Sprint 8 million times in the past year, when you add all the cell phone providers together, you can guesstimate that law enforcement may well have done this 50 million times in the past year (note these are not distinct requests and numerous if not thousands of requests could have been made for any one cell phone in a long and legitimate investigation).
To me the answer to all this is quite simple. The People should be watching the government, and not the other way around. We elect these bozos on the federal level to provide for the common defense, and I'm all for rooting out terrorists and putting criminals behind bars, but no doubt the government will take this type of stuff way too far unless it is held in check.
The question you always have to ask with situations like this is - who is watching those who are watching us?
If the answer is nobody, then this is a very, very slippery slope that has already gone too far.
How it is legal and somehow passes constitutional muster that law enforcement can track your movement via the GPS on your cell phone without probable cause and a court issued warrant is beyond me, but does not surprise me.
~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.