A federal court judge recently denied a prosecutor’s request under the Stored Communications Act to have a cell phone service provider give the government information showing which cell towers a certain cell phone was closest to over a period of 60 days.
In the Oct. 29 decision In re Application of the United States of America for Historical Cell Site Data, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Texas Stephen W. Smith held that a search warrant, supported by probable cause, was needed to obtain that information and since the quantum of proof needed to get an order under the SCA is lower than probable cause, the court would not issue the order.
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