Playing with Technology Can be Dangerous to Your Health
Under the guise of using available technology for emergencies like child abductions, child pornography monitoring, drug cases or other criminal investigations, many of our local police or investigative agencies use cell phone and computer tracking to monitor the activities of private citizens in unmonitored or illegal invasions of privacy. Simply to “keep tabs” of travel, contacts or behavior of individuals whose previous behavior has been abrasive to some government leaders, this technology has become abused and constitutional rights have been violated. A complete PDF of the ACLU acquired training materials can be downloaded (7.5MB) with THIS LINK.
The New York Times revealed today that the abuse has been proven rampant, but we have reports of Louisiana agencies utilizing this technology for activities that bring back Watergate memories. While warrants are required for utilizing these technologies, some department routinely bypass this process.
From the NYT article: “But civil liberties advocates say the wider use of cell tracking raises legal and constitutional questions, particularly when the police act without judicial orders.” Essentially some officials feel that the available technologies are so easy to use that a “peak” is too hard to pass up the opportunity.
The internal documents, which were provided to The New York Times, “open a window into a cloak-and-dagger practice that police officials are wary about discussing publicly. While cell tracking by local police departments has received some limited public attention in the last few years, the A.C.L.U. documents show that the practice is in much wider use — with far looser safeguards — than officials have previously acknowledged.”
The record is actually quite clear. SO not only do some investigators feel it’s necessary to have heavy firepower available, perhaps a M16 machine gun or more, but they need to be the “Big Brother” over your shoulder. Police departments and district attorney’s offices need to get a better understanding of the expectations of the law of the land. Exploiting technology just because you can is not and cannot be justified.
For more details on the New York Times story – LINK