Court rules probable cause warrant required for GPS trackers

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that police need to acquire a probable cause search warrant before putting a GPS trackers on a suspect’s vehicle, according to In United States v. Jones, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the installation of a GPS device on a vehicle constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment, but declined to rule on whether the search was reasonable or required a warrant. Read the full article here.


Snapchat’s unopened messages can be shared with police

According to NBC News, Snapchat officials announced that they can and will share user photographs with law enforcement if (1) those photographs have not yet been opened by the recipient and (2) police have a corresponding warrant. This violates the myth that Snapchat images are fleeting and private. Though the company has turned over some “snaps,” they have only turned over roughly a dozen in total (users send around 350 million snaps on an average day).Read the whole story here.


Feds sued for hiding NSA spying from terror defendants

The American Civil Liberties Union recently filed a lawsuit in the New York federal court against the Justice Department “demanding an accounting of the defendants ensnared under the law, known as the FISA Amendments Act, which codified President George W. Bush’s once-secret spy program adopted in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.” The suit was filed after the government failed to respond to the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act request in March.  For more information, see this Wired article.

Bulk phone data reveals ‘startling insights,’ Princeton professor tells US Senate

Professor Edward Felton of Princeton University recently testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee about the broad scope of personal information that can be revealed by apparently small amounts of data collected by the National Security Agency. Felten said that “merely by combining their analysis of phone records with call times and durations, investigators can learn about people’s work, social habits, religion and political affiliations.” Read this article at Phys Org to learn more.

Tech group warns court ruling against Google could be ‘devastating’ for economy

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to allow privacy litigation against Google to proceed has sparked concern among technology advocates. For example, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation filed a brief warning the court of “the devastating consequences its ruling will have on all aspects of the economy that rely on wireless technology infrastructure, including but not limited to healthcare, financial institutions, retailers, and residential computer users.”  Read more at The Hill.