techdirt: Kansas Court Rejects Government’s ‘Reverse Warrant,’ Sets Ground Rules For Future Requests by Tim Cushing linking to this post from June 14.
For the time being, it’s mostly up to the judges reading the warrant affidavits to raise challenges to the methods used or the broadness of request. And, so far, we’ve only seen one rejection of a reverse warrant, albeit one rejected twice by consecutive judges (a magistrate and a district court judge).
Now we have one more rejection to examine, coming to us via FourthAmendment.com. A magistrate judge in Kansas has rejected [PDF] the government’s attempt to obtain location data from Google. The magistrate notes that judges all over the nation should expect to see more of these as time goes on and should be aware of the constitutional issues at play when the government works backwards from bulk data to identify a criminal suspect. Because this investigative technique is only expected to become more common, this judge has decided to set some ground rules for the government’s future attempts to work its way backwards to probable cause.