Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sen. Estes: Get a warrant for cell-phone location data

Texas state senators from the Red River to the Rio Grande Valley say law enforcement should seek a warrant to get location tracking information from cell-phone carriers. Okay, really it's just two state senators so far: State Sen. Craig Estes in the final week of bill filing dropped SB 1088 requiring law enforcement to get a warrant to gather cell-phone location data. The bill is essentially similar to Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa's SB 786 and state Rep. Bryan Hughes' HB 1608 except that it does not include the annual public reporting in those bills.

Noted a blog post from the Texas Electronic Privacy Coalition, "That both Republican and Democratic Texas state senators filed legislation to require a warrant for cell-phone location orders speaks volumes about the developing bipartisan consensus that location privacy deserves protection." Coupled with HB 3164 by Stickland requiring a warrant for emails older than 180 days (see prior Grits coverage), the Legislature this session will consider legislation that would significantly bolster Texans' Fourth Amendment rights in the digital age. Hughes' HB 1608 has so far garnered 69 joint and co-authors out of 150 House members, with more likely to sign on next week, so there exists significant bipartisan support for the warrant requirement in both chambers. If these bills pass, it would put the Lone Star State at the forefront of electronic privacy protections nationally.

1 comment:

Phillip Baker said...

Texas, my (sometimes) great native state! How confusing you are. We run a prison system located somewhere within the Rings of Hell. We seem to worship guns. We have the highest exoneration rate, lowest social services, near lowest education system, a government of business, by business, and for business and to hell with all those "victims", worship the death penalty. We allow DA's to rail road the innocent, the governor to accept huge sums for support and then dole them to friends and allies. We generally hate gay people and had to have the US Supreme Court order us to end our "sodomy" law. And to hell with those pesky poor people, illegals, and all non-neocons. Yet we have the highest compensation for wrongful convictions, have or are revamping important forensic science standards, had the most progressive bankruptcy laws, etc. Now state senators claim to be concerned with individual privacy. What next? Real concern for educating our kids? Real concern for the huge poverty that exists within our supposedly great, business-friendly economy? Any plans to actually support the local control the neocons claim as bedrock belief and quit targeting Austin because we choose to make our city better? OMG!