ACLU and EFF sue Justice Dept over cell-phone tracking

ACLU and EFF sue Justice Dept over cell-phone tracking

The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the records in November after media reports revealed that some government officials claim not to need probable cause to obtain real-time tracking information from people's cell phones.

The reports also suggested that some federal law enforcement agents have obtained tracking data directly from mobile phone service providers without any court oversight.

The request for information includes documents, memos and guides regarding the policies and procedures for tracking individuals through the use of their cell phones, as well as information about the number of times the government has applied for cell phone location information without establishing probable cause, and how many times it has been granted.

The DOJ has failed to release the documents or provide an adequate response to the request.

According to Catherine Crump, ACLU lead attorney on the case, this is a critical opportunity to shed much-needed light on what are possibly unconstitutional government surveillance techniques.

"Signing up for cell phone services should not be synonymous with signing up to be spied on and tracked by the government," said Ms Crump.

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