SCOTUS Considers Limits to the Government's Surveillance Powers Over Personal Technology

"In 2011, the police and the FBI used data from cellular telephone towers to help connect a suspect to a string of armed robberies of Radio Shack and T-Mobile stores in the Detroit area.

The authorities didn’t rely on a warrant based on probable cause but on a broad court order under a 1986 federal law, the Stored Communications Act. They collected more than 120 days’ worth of records from two wireless carriers for the cell-site data of the suspect’s mobile phone. The records helped show that the suspect, Timothy I. Carpenter, was in close proximity to the stores at the time of the crimes. Combined with other evidence that Carpenter was the leader of the robbery ring, the records led to his conviction on federal robbery- and weapons-related charges."



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