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Commonwealth v. Estabrook

EFF filed an amicus brief with the ACLU of Massachusetts asking the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to reaffirm its decision in Commonwealth v. Augustine that police must get a warrant in order to obtain two weeks worth of cell phone location information (CSLI). In Estabrook, the state police obtained two weeks of CSLI, but the prosecution attempted to get around the Augustine rule by focusing on a six hour period, which the Augustine court had suggested might not implicate individuals' expectation of privacy. We asked the court to hold that the warrant requirement applies to the two weeks of CSLI obtained by the police, no matter how much the prosecution actually used at trial. Our brief also called on the court to definitively establish a warrant requirement for all CSLI, because even small amounts of location information can be highly revealing of private information.

Vivek Krishnamurthy and Andy Sellars of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School served as our local counsel and drafted the brief along with students Abigail Colella, Sandra Hanian, and William Travis West.

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