October 27, 2005 | By Kevin Bankston

"Oh, we secretly track cell phones without probable cause all the time! What's the big deal?"

As we've reported recently, two bold new legal decisions have exposed how the Justice Department has been getting secret court orders to track people's locations using their cell phones—without probable cause and based on interpretations of the law that the newly vigilant courts are now calling "misleading," "contrived," "unsupported," a "Hail Mary" play, and even "perverse."

Of course, this led us to wonder: how many times has the DOJ tricked judges into signing secret surveillance orders based on a completely bogus legal argument? The DOJ confirmed our worst fears in today's Washington Post, saying that "courts around the country have granted many such orders in the past without requiring probable cause."

Now that all of those judges know just how misled they were, we'll hopefully be seeing a lot more published decisions that expose the Justice Department's overreaching surveillance practices. We've already learned from these latest decisions that they've been tracking cell phones and "wiretapping" credit card accounts using so-called "hotwatch" orders without any legal basis; maybe now we'll find out what else the government has been getting away with.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Depende de los legisladores el rechazo al #TPP https://www.eff.org/es/deepli...

Feb 5 @ 8:04pm

Laura Poitras and her EFF lawyers stand with previously classified surveillance docs now on display at the Whitney

Feb 5 @ 11:55am

Activists say Twitter is 'leaving them in the dark' over state-sponsored attack claims: http://www.theguardian.com/te...

Feb 5 @ 10:46am
JavaScript license information