A New York judge, Gabriel Gorenstein, has sided with the US government in its quest to be able to track a cellphone's physical location via tower data, without first seeking a warrant to do so. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the decision is based on "flawed legal analysis," and contradicts rulings by three other judges. Gorenstein based his opinion, in part, on the idea that using tower data to triangulate a caller's location doesn't violate the US Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches, due to the fact that the tracking method doesn't "install a ... tracking device" and only "identifies a nearby cell tower" rather than pinpointing a caller's location. The EFF vows to continue following what it calls a "dangerous new opinion," particularly in light of recent revelations about warrantless wiretaps by the Bush administration.

[Via TechDirt]

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Judge grants government request for warrant-free cell tracking