November 23, 2007

Can You See Me Now?

Federal agents routinely request tracking data from cellphone companies to determine the travel and assembly habits of suspects, and courts have granted them unusual leeway in obtaining the data. Are these terrorist suspects that could present a clear and imminent danger to the lives of Americans? No — just drug dealers and other usual suspects of American crime. Why, then, do the courts allow this tracking without the normal establishment of probable cause?

At Heading Right, I look past the somewhat-misleading tilt of the article, which makes this sound like an NSA-style "warrantless surveillance" program, which it isn't. Federal agents get warrants, but without making a factual basis for probable cause. In counterterrorist efforts where thousands of American lives could be at risk, Americans could understand the wide latitude courts give for such requests, but should that apply to normal criminal investigations?

Also at Heading Right, JASmius takes a look at Mitt Romney's latest position on abortion and wonders how far Romney will go in his conversion.


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