No Warrant? No Problem

In 2011, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes had upheld a magistrate judge's 2010 ruling that had denied a request by federal authorities in three separate criminal investigations to compel cellphone companies to provide without a search warrant 60 days of records for several phones. In overturning Hughes' order, the appeals court in New Orleans said such data is a business record that belongs to the cellphone provider. It also said its collection by authorities does not have to meet a probable cause standard as outlined under the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unlawful search and seizure and requires a search warrant. "We understand the cell phone users may reasonably want their location information to remain private ...
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