Judge Declares Law Governing Warrantless Cellphone Tracking Unconstitutional
In a succinct one-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Lynn N. Hughes of the Southern District of Texas declared that the law authorizing the government to obtain cellphone records without a search warrant was unconstitutional.
‘The records would show the date, time, called number, and location of the telephone when the call was made,’ Judge Hughes wrote in the decision, dated Nov. 11. ‘These data are constitutionally protected from this intrusion.’
Judge Hughes’ decision comes as the U.S. government is facing increasing judicial challenges to its practice of obtaining information about the location of individuals without a search warrant. Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case where the government placed a GPS tracking device under a vehicle and monitored the driver’s movements for a month without a search warrant.