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Law Enforcement Officers Track Cell Phones without Warrants

April 18, 2012 | Posted In Criminal Law - Cell Phone, Warrants

A Report from Your New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys

You may be surprised to learn that law enforcement agencies in New Jersey and around the country frequently track people’s cell phones without warrants. This cell phone tracking is an ongoing attack on individual privacy and civil liberties, and New Jersey criminal defense attorneys believe that many citizens are not aware of this  practice. 

According to research by the American Civil Liberties Union, law enforcement officers around the country track cell phones to learn where people go and who they visit.  The places a person visits can reveal a great deal about his friends, social circle, health and interests as well as political, religious and civil affiliations.   New Jersey citizens may be concerned to discover that police officers can secretly track their cell phone without probable cause or without obtaining a warrant.

In making this finding, the American Civil Liberties Union asked more than 380 law enforcement agencies around the country to open their records to scrutiny. Although not all police departments complied with the request, more than 200 responded.  Virtually all of these agencies admitted that they secretly track cell phones without warrants. 

New Jersey criminal defense attorneys are concerned about the extent of the violations in New Jersey.  The American Civil Liberties Union asked 49 New Jersey police departments for information about their cell phone tracking activities. New Jersey and North Carolina are the two states with the highest number of instances of police tracking cell phones without warrants.

A police officer in New Jersey does not need sophisticated technology to track a person’s cell phone.  Many cell phones now come with Carrier IQ tracking software.  The ease of tracking has made New Jersey criminal defense attorneys and privacy advocates nervous about the implications for privacy and civil liberties. 

The New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with sex crimes, drug crimes, murder, fraud, assault and other crimes across New Jersey.


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