HOUSTON (AP) - A federal appeals court has ruled that authorities need only a court order and not a more stringent search warrant to obtain cellphone records that can be used to track a person's movements.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling Tuesday. It overturns an order by a federal judge in Houston who had said cellphone data is constitutionally protected from intrusion and can only be acquired with a search warrant.
But the New Orleans-based appeals court ruled that such data is a business record that belongs to the cellphone provider. It also ruled that the data's 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.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.