Backed by groups concerned about government intrusion on privacy, a criminal defense attorney on Tuesday asked a federal appeals court to put the brakes on the warrantless acquisition of cellphone company records that can help identify a phone user’s location.

Several of the 11 judges hearing the case seemed concerned about what a ruling for the government might mean as technology evolves and gives law enforcement more tools. But, backed by apparent allies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, a Justice Department lawyer tried to steer the court from broader implications to the specific issue at hand.

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