“The police cannot do that to a person unless they have a warrant and the warrant is something that’s issued by the judge, so that means a police can’t just automatically do this whenever they suspect something,” Paul Wolf told Press TV.
“They have to be able to put together evidence, bring to a judge, and say judge we need to put this person under surveillance. And that is the procedure that works for 200 years. And there is no reason to try to go around that,” he added.
Many police departments have reportedly logged dozens of traces a month for both emergencies and routine investigations.
The tracking issue became clear after a recent Supreme Court ruling that found a GPS tracking device placed on a drug suspect’s car by Washington DC police, which violated the fourth amendment rights, because it was an unreasonable search.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has since discovered that more than 200 other US local police departments are also tracking without reasonable search.
“What the ACLU has found is a widespread pattern of violation of the civil rights of people all across this country and that was just determined to be a civil rights violation by the US Supreme Court,” Wolf said.
When contacting the local Washington DC Police Department on the tracking, officials offered no comment.
- Cop’s ‘ear’ in your pocket: Cell phone tracking routine with US police (rt.com)
- This Week in Transparency: Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking, Drones, and FBI Surveillance (eff.org)
- Washington Post: ACLU says local police tracking cellphones without warrants (criminaljusticesection.wordpress.com)