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Horrible 6th Circuit Decision Indicates That The Police Can Track You Via Your Cell Phone Without Violating The Fourth Amendment

Here is a truly horrible case from the 6th Circuit yesterday that is (hopefully) headed to the Supreme Court of the United States.  From United States v. Skinner:

The government used data emanating from Melvin Skinner’s pay-as-you-go cell
phone to determine its real-time location. This information was used to establish
Skinner’s location as he transported drugs along public thoroughfares between Arizona
and Tennessee. As a result of tracking the cell phone, DEA agents located Skinner and
his son at a rest stop near Abilene, Texas, with a motorhome filled with over 1,100
pounds of marijuana. The district court denied Skinner’s motion to suppress all evidence
obtained as a result of the search of his vehicle, and Skinner was later convicted of two
counts related to drug trafficking and one count of conspiracy to commit money
laundering. The convictions must be upheld as there was no Fourth Amendment
violation, and Skinner’s other arguments on appeal lack merit. In short, Skinner did not
have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the data emanating from his cell phone that
showed its location.

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