Since Texas lawmakers considered, but failed to pass, a measure requiring warrants for obtaining cell-phone location data in 2013, has been a major shift has occurred in public discourse over electronic privacy, thanks to disclosures, by Edward Snowden and others, of widespread government surveillance.
Alice Linahan, via Flickr State Representative Bryan Hughes is pushing a bill that would require cops to obtain a warrant to retrieve cell-phone location data.
The bill, by Representative Bryan Hughes, is back for the 2015 session, this time with even more overwhelming support. The bill has 97 co-sponsors, or just about two-thirds of the chamber's membership. One thing about the debate hasn't changed: Big-city cops are still fighting the bill.
Under Hughes' proposal, police would need to go to a judge and establish probable cause before getting location data from the cell phone of someone they believe is linked crime, just as they are required to do before searching someone's house, car or the other contents of their cell phone. Location data here includes both precise geolocation or GPS data generated by a phone and data showing the phone's relative position to cell phone towers and Wi-Fi networks.More »