California Bill Would Keep Mobile Calls Private
California may soon have a law to regulate law enforcement demands for data from mobile devices.
A Congressional inquiry reveals that the number of such requests are soaring- 1.3 million last year from local, state and federal authorities.
Carriers grant many of those requests when there's a life threatening emergency, or in response to a subpoena rather than a warrant issued by a judge.
But California may soon have a law that would require that data requests come with a search warrant, says Chris Conley, a technology and civil liberties policy attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.
"This actually helps the industry in many ways, and takes care of the confusion with the existing mish-mash of rules and gives them a very simple rule," he said. "You know, come back with a warrant."
The ACLU is backing SB 1434, sponsored by state Senator Mark Leno, a Democrat from San Francisco. The bill has cleared the Senate, and is in committee in the state Assembly
The cell phone industry recently dropped its opposition to SB 1434. That came after it got an amendment granting immunity to carriers, and relief from a provision forcing them to disclose how many were granted.