Sen Markey Plans Legislation to Narrow Authorities’ Cellphone Data Requests

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Cellphone carriers last year answered at least 1.1 million requests from law enforcement agencies seeking information on caller locations, text messages and other data for use in investigations, according to reports from the carriers. The cellphone carriers’ reports, which came in response to a congressional inquiry, underscored the law enforcement agencies’ strong reliance on wireless phone records. The carriers are shown to turn over records thousands of times a day in response to police emergencies, subpoenas and other requests. Sen Ed Markey (D-MA) requested the reports from seven carriers -- including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile US. Sen Markey conducted a similar audit last year as a member of the House, seeking information from carriers about law enforcement requests for 2011.

Sen Markey said he planned to introduce legislation in the coming weeks that would provide stronger privacy protections for consumers, including the requirement of a warrant for police to get cellphone location information from a carrier as proof that it would help uncover evidence of a crime. “Congress needs to ensure that our laws keep up with technology, including how law enforcement handles and disposes of this sensitive mobile phone information,” Sen Markey said.


Sen Markey Plans Legislation to Narrow Authorities’ Cellphone Data Requests