If you have a cellphone, you need to read this

A look at the landmark case that could implicate every person in the country.

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  • Lets check the facts Santa Fe, NM
    Dec. 1, 2017 3:36 p.m.

    What’s the difference between leaving some DNA behind at a crime scene or leaving an rf transmission behind at the crime scene?

  • Lets check the facts Santa Fe, NM
    Dec. 1, 2017 3:28 p.m.

    If I don’t want the public to know where I am, I leave the cell phone home, turn it off, or pull out the battery. If I don’t want to leave tracks behind I cover them up. People shouldn’t be so scared of technology.

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2017 2:25 p.m.

    It's a very interesting case, but I wonder if the decisive fact won't be that individual users of cell phones have the ability to access an application (that comes with the phone) which permits users to turn off notifications about the phone's location. If a user fails to do that, hasn't he or she impliedly waived the any claim to a right to privacy as to the location? I would think the answer is quite likely to be "yes."

  • riptide Provo, UT
    Dec. 1, 2017 1:26 p.m.

    @hbeckett - "we are not talking about every day john doe and jane doe here"

    Actually, yes we are, because the impact of ruling that police do not need a warrant to collect and use this suspected criminal's location data to convict him is that it would also mean police don't need a warrant to collect and use anybody and everybody else's location data. The potential for abuse is enormous. All that is required to actually get a warrant is to show "probable cause" (no proof is necessary). That's a pretty low bar to step over, but the impact of removing that one small protection to our rights is huge.

  • riptide Provo, UT
    Dec. 1, 2017 12:58 p.m.

    @TJ "The only people who need to fear the government being able to track someone by their phones or use information obtained by listening to a phone conversation are criminals."

    Seriously? Wow. Read history much?

    "The government wants to be able to monitor the calls and location of a fraction of 1% of the total to keep an eye on suspected or known terrorists and criminals."

    Nope, the government has been caught collecting private data of ALL citizens despite laws that specifically prohibited that, and also caught lying about it when they were caught breaking the law. Various gov't agencies, officials, and employees have also misused private data for inappropriate purposes. All they need to do to monitor the calls and location of "known terrorists and criminals," is get a warrant. They are doing tons of surveillance on people WITHOUT warrants (even people who are not suspected of any wrong-doing).

    "I have nothing to hide."
    Great. But just because you don't care about your privacy or who knows the intimate details of your life doesn't mean nobody else should care. Caring about one's privacy doesn't make them a criminal or terrorist, it means they care about their privacy.

  • hbeckett Colfax, CA
    Dec. 1, 2017 12:16 p.m.

    we are not talking about every day john doe and jane doe here we are talking about a criminal envolvement action to track or find them it is just like going house to house to locate the perpertator get a grip people no one is trying to catch you doing something wrong this an aid to help catch criminals that are known to have comitted a crime against your neighbor or you or family membe if lost somewhere I would expect and hope for any means available to be used to locate me so I could be returned to my family my phone number is like having an address i have been known to have been frequenting and a good place to look a cell tower has eye's to see long distances

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    Dec. 1, 2017 10:11 a.m.

    "...legal scholars are encouraging the Supreme Court to set a few more rules regarding privacy in a digital age."

    This is the job of Congress, not the Court.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 1, 2017 9:48 a.m.

    Things are changing at an alarming rate because of technology. It is becoming more difficult for the government and law enforcement to catch some criminals because of technology. Lawyers continue to lobby for laws that will make it more difficult to prosecute criminals...creating more need for more lawyers, and draining taxpayer money. The only people who need to fear the government being able to track someone by their phones or use information obtained by listening to a phone conversation are criminals. Don't make it harder on our government to monitor and capture criminals and terrorists. Give them every advantage in their jobs. I find it ironic that those who scream the loudest about privacy are often screaming the loudest when law enforcement or the government are not able to stop crimes or terrorism successfully.
    There are hundreds of millions of phones and billions of phone calls in the U.S every day. The government wants to be able to monitor the calls and location of a fraction of 1% of the total to keep an eye on suspected or known terrorists and criminals. I have no problem whatsoever with them monitoring my location or listening to my calls. I have nothing to hide.

  • cs85 Orem, UT
    Dec. 1, 2017 9:13 a.m.

    @Lets check the facts--It isn't like that at all. It's more like them searching through the drawers and cupboards in your home. Remember, they are monitoring people (ostensibly) suspected of a crime, but about which no crime has been proven, and doing it without a warrant. They aren't just discovering "who was at the bank at the time of the crime" (which would be more like your "footprints"), but they are getting information about everywhere a suspect has been for months. Warrants were created for just this purpose--prove to the court that you have a good reason to suspect this person and you can get information like this. Otherwise, cease and desist.

    @Lets check the facts--you seem to have complete trust that those in power will never abuse it. That is very naive. The fourth amendment clause, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..." was created by people who had seen abuses of this kind and sought to prevent them. A little study of the origins of the 4th amendment would quickly disabuse you of your misplaced trust.

  • Lets check the facts Santa Fe, NM
    Dec. 1, 2017 8:39 a.m.

    This would be like saying that you couldn’t use someone’s footprints they left behind in the mud at a crime scene. I hope the Justices don’t jump to some naive conclusion because they are scared of “technology.”