Rights Advocates Alarmed by US Spy Agency’s Purchase of Warrantless Phone Location Data, by Brett Wilkins

Edward Snowden was the first to alert us that this type of thing was going on. Too bad Trump didn’t pardon him. From Brett Wilkins at commondreams.org:

“Congress must end this lawless practice and require the government to get a warrant for our location data, regardless of its source.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington,DC on May 5, 2020. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) says he will introduce legislation—the Fourth Amendment Is Not for Sale Act—which would prohibit government agencies from buying personal information from data brokers. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AFP via Getty Images)

Digital rights advocates reacted with alarm to a report published Friday detailing how Defense Intelligence Agency analysts in recent years bought databases of U.S. smartphone location data without first obtaining warrants.

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is part of the Department of Defense and is tasked with informing military and civilian policymakers about the activities and intentions of foreign governments and nonstate actors.

The new revelation, first reported by the New York Times, initially came in the form of DIA responses to questions from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) regarding the agency’s warrantless purchase of commercial location data generated by phones both inside and outside of the United States.

Wyden asked the DIA to clarify its interpretation of Carpenter v. United States, a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision barring law enforcement agencies from requesting personal location information from a cellphone company without first obtaining a search warrant from a judge.

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