Lawmakers in Maine are putting themselves at the forefront of efforts to curb excessive surveillance by instituting new privacy safeguards. On Wednesday, the state House voted 113-28 in favor of legislation that would in all but exceptional cases prohibit law enforcement agencies from tracking cellphones without a warrant. If enacted, LD 415 would make Maine the first state in the country to require authorities to obtain a search warrant before tracking cellphones or other GPS-enabled devices. The law would also require that law enforcement agencies notify a person that she was tracked within three days, unless they can prove that secrecy is necessary, in which case a delay can be granted for up to 180 days. LD 415 would additionally require the publication of an annual report online detailing the number of times location data were sought by law enforcement agencies.
Maine House Passes Law Requiring Warrants for Police to Track Cell Phones
One might think that the strict language of the Fourth Amendment on illegal search and seizure would mean that it would be unconstitutional for police to track anyone's cell phone without a warrant. But you would be wrong, as the Bill of Rights has been systematically undermined by the Democratic and Republican parties in the Congress. Some states are pushing back, however. A new bill Maine would require law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant to track a person's cell phone. From Slate: