Category Archives: geofence

NBC: Men imprisoned for murder say police illegally used Google to find their location data

NBC: Men imprisoned for murder say police illegally used Google to find their location data by Jon Schuppe (“Geofence warrants allow police to comb through Google location data in search of suspects. Opponents say that violates the Constitution.”)

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D.D.C.: Geofence warrant for cell phones in Capitol building during 1/6 insurrection was valid and relied on in good faith

The D.C. District Court upheld a geofence warrant for cell phones located in the Capitol building during the 1/6 insurrection. Surveying all the cases, and there aren’t many, and noting that there is a margin of error as to accuracy … Continue reading

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NYLJ: Geofence Warrants, January 6 and the Fourth Amendment

NYLJ Law.com: Geofence Warrants, January 6 and the Fourth Amendment (“Recently, litigation in several of the January 6th cases has disclosed the extensive use of this geofence search warrants. The Fourth Amendment implications raised by the use of this new investigative tool … Continue reading

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Reason: Geofencing Warrants Are a Threat to Privacy

Reason: Geofencing Warrants Are a Threat to Privacy by Bonnie Kristian:

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USA Today: Cold cases cracked by cellphones: How police are using geofence warrants to solve crimes

USA Today: Cold cases cracked by cellphones: How police are using geofence warrants to solve crimes by Christopher Damien & Nick Penzenstadler (“Mike Price, litigation director at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Fourth Amendment Center, said innocent bystanders … Continue reading

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M.D.Ala.: Court decides geofence warrant on GFE without getting to 4A merits

Defendant was a suspect in a series of 35 carjackings where the car was shortly thereafter used in an armed robbery. A geofence warrant was used to track defendant at the scenes of the robberies. After discussing the case law … Continue reading

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EFF: Geofence Warrants and Reverse Keyword Warrants are So Invasive, Even Big Tech Wants to Ban Them

EFF: Geofence Warrants and Reverse Keyword Warrants are So Invasive, Even Big Tech Wants to Ban Them by Matthew Guariglia (“Geofence and reverse keyword warrants are some of the most dangerous, civil-liberties-infringing and reviled tools in law enforcement agencies’ digital … Continue reading

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AP: Man pleads guilty in case testing use of geofence warrant

AP (via ABC News): Man pleads guilty in case testing use of geofence warrant (“A Richmond man has pleaded guilty to bank robbery charges in a case that tested the constitutionality of broad search warrants that use Google location history … Continue reading

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NPR: WNYC: The Takeaway: How Crime, Technology, and Civil Liberties Collide Through Geofence Warrants

NPR: WNYC: The Takeaway: How Crime, Technology, and Civil Liberties Collide Through Geofence Warrants (“Last month, a federal judge in Richmond, Virginia ruled that the use of a geofence warrant to make an arrest in a robbery case was unconstitutional … Continue reading

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Techdirt: Law Prof Suggests Geofence Warrants Are A Net Gain For The Public, Even If They Invert The Probable Cause Standard

Techdirt: Law Prof Suggests Geofence Warrants Are A Net Gain For The Public, Even If They Invert The Probable Cause Standard by Tim Cushing (“On March 9th, we covered a Virginia court’s decision to reject a geofence/‘reverse’ warrant as unconstitutional. … Continue reading

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WaPo: Letting police access Google location data can help solve crimes

WaPo: Letting police access Google location data can help solve crimes by Jane Bambauer (“Acquiring anonymous data about which devices were in a bank at the time of a robbery should not be unconstitutional.”) [So do general violations of the … Continue reading

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WaPo: Cellphone dragnets can help catch criminals. Judges say they can also violate constitutional rights.

WaPo: Cellphone dragnets can help catch criminals. Judges say they can also violate constitutional rights. By Justin Jouvenal & Rachel Weiner (“Police requests for ‘geofence’ data showing active cellphones near crime scenes have skyrocketed.”)

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Reason: Geofence Warrants Are the Future (and That’s a Good Thing)

Reason: “Geofence Warrants Are the Future (and That’s a Good Thing)” from Prof. Jane Bambauer posted by Eugene Volokh:

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Reason: The Fourth Amendment and Geofence Warrants: A Critical Look at United States v. Chatrie

Reason: The Fourth Amendment and Geofence Warrants: A Critical Look at United States v. Chatrie by Orin Kerr:

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E.D.Va: Geofence warrant was unreasonable, but saved by GFE

This geofence warrant violated the Fourth Amendment because it lacked particularity and caused capture of information of innocent persons. It was, however, saved by the good faith exception. [What about the next one?] United States v. Chatrie, 2022 U.S. Dist. … Continue reading

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VA Cir.: Proposed geofence warrant lacks PC and particularity

This proposed geofence warrant fails both probable cause for what it seeks to capture and particularity. In re Info. Stored at the Premises Controlled by Google, 2022 Va. Cir. LEXIS 12 (Fairfax Co. Feb. 24, 2022):

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EFF: In 2021, the Police Took a Page Out of the NSA’s Playbook: 2021 in Review

EFF: In 2021, the Police Took a Page Out of the NSA’s Playbook: 2021 in Review by Jennifer Lynch:

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CNS: State court could put cellphone ‘dragnets’ in knots

Courthouse News Service: State court could put cellphone ‘dragnets’ in knots (“Cops want to use phone data to identify everyone who was nearby when a crime happened — a system that for civil libertarians comes at too high a privacy … Continue reading

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KyCIR: To solve murders, Louisville police turn to ‘geofence’ warrants — but net few arrests

KyCIR: To solve murders, Louisville police turn to ‘geofence’ warrants — but net few arrests by Jacob Ryan, Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting:

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RawStory: FBI used secret Google tracking data to nab Capitol rioters

RawStory: FBI used secret Google tracking data to nab Capitol rioters by John Wright (“Federal prosecutors have cited secretive ‘geofence’ warrants — which allow law enforcement to pinpoint cell-phone users’ precise locations over time — in 45 Capitol riot cases, … Continue reading

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