A few weeks ago, we wrote about United States v. Maynard, a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit requiring the government to obtain a warrant when it uses a GPS tracking device to monitor someone’s movements.
Last Friday, Judge James Orenstein in the Eastern District of New York recognized that Maynard’s reasoning also applies when the government tries to retrace a person’s whereabouts using historical cell phone location information stored by cell phone carriers. Judge Orenstein rejected each possible factual difference between GPS vehicle tracking and historical cell phone tracking, and concluded that cell phone tracking is just as intrusive to Americans’ reasonable expectations of privacy in the details of their everyday lives as GPS tracking.
On second thought, possibly not.
Even given that members of the military have their rights somewhat limited during their service–it’s part of the job–television detective show writers don’t seem to pay much attention to actual law in any event. There’s not enough time in an hour to apply for a warrant.
I enjoy NCIS. It’s a comic book brought to life.