Judge Limits Federal Access to Cell Phone Records

Supreme_Court.jpgThe Washington Post reports that the federal government must now obtain a warrant based on probable cause of criminal activity, before ordering a wireless carrier to turn over records that show where customers used their cellphones, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

The judge rejected the government’s argument that the release of historical cellphone tower location data did not require probable cause. The report said that the ruling could begin to establish a standard for such requests, which industry lawyers say are “routine as more people carry cellphones that reveal their locations. Around the country, magistrate judges, who handle matters such as search warrants, have expressed concern about the lack of guidance.”