New 3rd Circuit Case on Expectation of Geolocation Privacy

For US folks:

On September 7, 2010, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a narcotics case containing two key holdings regarding the standard by which the government can access records of historical cell site location information (“CSLI”).  The first holding was unsurprising. The Third Circuit held that under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2703, the government may obtain historical cell site records with an 18 U.S.C. § 2703(d) order based on “specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the . . . records or other information sought, [are] relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.”  The second holding is more novel, and even somewhat ground-breaking.  The Court determined that it is within the discretion of the magistrate judge to consider the privacy concerns at stake and turn down an application for such an order for cell site data even if the government has met the intermediate “specific and articulable facts” standard and require the government to satisfy the higher “probable cause” standard.

The complete story at <>.

Received on Wednesday, 15 September 2010 17:40:12 UTC