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Often times, law enforcement needs to use whatever means possible to catch the bad guys and save lives. One way they do that is with something called a "Tower Dump." Ever heard of that? It's a tool whereby lawmen can collect data from every cellphone in range of a cell tower at a particular time. It's often used when time is of the essence.
But Congressman Ed Markey of Massachussets found out that cellphone information of about 1.3-million people was handed over to law enforcement last year. He says it's time to update the 4th amendment for the 21st century.So Markey has introduced the "Wireless Surveillance Act of 2012."
If it's passed into law, it would limit how and why lawmen can ask for so-called tower dumps. They wouldn't be hampered in their timely investigations because they could still use the procedure in an emergency situation, but they'd have to get a signed sworn statement within 48 hours of receiving the information to justify the access.
He's also concerned about how long the government can hold onto the information. It's pretty simple really and something I certainly believe in. Why should law enforcement have formation on millions of Americans and no regulation on how they can use that information if it's unrelated to any crime.
Law enforcement doesn't want to change anything. They say tower dumps save lives. Besides they say, it helps them gather the right evidence to put the right people in jail.
But Julian Sanchez with the Cato Institute puts it this way, would you be okay with someone tracking your movements 24 hours a day or would you consider that an invasion of privacy.
There's no doubt which way I lean. Yes it is an invasion of privacy and while I don't mind law enforcement having access to this tool, but due process needs to be in there somewhere and a judge should have to sign off on it just like they would with wiretaps and search warrants.