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Can the FBI Secretly Track Your Cell Phone? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-2-26 13:46:05 |Display all floors
The movie ‘Enemy of the State’ told me FBI and CIA can catch anybody they want. But why don’t they track Bin Laden?
Maybe what they can threat is only the peace and safety of American people. Actually China does such things as often as US, because it’s certainly natural and reasonable for the state to probe the people to protect them.
What’s funny is that, every time when China did it, US will condemn China for violating human rights and freedom.

Can the FBI Secretly Track Your Cell Phone?
Michael Isikoff
The Justice Department is poised this week to publicly defend a little-known law-enforcement practice that critics say may be the "sleeper" privacy issue of the 21st century: the collection of cell-phone "tracking" records that identify the physical locations where the phones have been.
It may come as a surprise to most of the owners of the country's 277 million cell phones, but their cell-phone company retains records of where their device has been at all times—either because the phones have tiny GPS devices embedded inside or because each phone call is routed through towers that can be used to pinpoint the phones' location to within areas as small as a few hundred feet.
Such location "logs" never show up on your monthly cell-phone bill. But federal court records filed over the past year indicate that federal prosecutors and the FBI have increasingly been obtaining such records in the course of criminal investigations—without any notice to the cell-phone customer or any showing of "probable cause" that tracking the physical location of the phone will turn up evidence of an actual crime.
"Most people don't understand they are carrying a tracking device in their pockets," says Kevin Bankston, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy group that has been trying to monitor the Justice Department's practice.
Much about the practice—including how many "tracking" records have been collected by the government—remains shrouded in secrecy. But in one court case in which the use of such records arose, a Philadelphia FBI agent named William Shute testified that he had obtained such records 150 times in recent years in order to track the location of federal fugitives. ... our-cell-phone.aspx

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