Real-time tracking of cell phones is possible because mobile phones are constantly sending data to cell towers, which allows incoming calls to be routed correctly. The towers record the strength of the signal along with the side of the tower the signal is coming from. This allows the phone's position to be easily triangulated to within a few hundred yards.
he Justice Department has argued that a combination of wiretap laws governing stored communications like voicemail, plus a law that lets them learn the phone numbers people dial, allows them to track people without having probable cause.
Investigators commonly bundle a request to track cell phones with orders to capture the dialing information of incoming and outgoing calls from landline or cell phones. Those orders only require investigators to certify that the information is likely relevant to an ongoing investigation. Since most of the orders are filed under seal to prevent targets from learning they will soon be tracked, little was known of the scope of, and legal justifications for, cell tracking orders.
"What's all the fuss?" said Catholic University of America law professor Clifford Fishman. "The government has legitimate reasons to follow people. This is the technology law enforcement needs to use to get probable cause to search you, arrest you and throw you in jail."
Fishman, a former prosecutor who spent eight years prosecuting drug crimes in New York state, said it was reasonable for police to track a suspect's girlfriend to see if she would lead to his hide-out.
Right. Because if your boyfriend is a no-good slimeball, then YOU must be guilty by association as well. And therefore you have no constitutional rights. Probable cause? Hey man, we don't need an actual reason to track you by your cell phone! Come on!
Don't you people realize that the Bill Of Rights was revoked on 9/11, with your consent? Quit whining and get back to watching TV, you stupid zombies. We're the government - you're not allowed to question us or demand accountability, due process, or justice. You'll get thrown in jail without charge, deported^Wrenditioned to a gulag in a foreign country without any kind of hearing, notification or trial, tortured (possibly killed) however we like, and then you'll RE-ELECT THE PERSON WHO SUPERVISED THIS PROCESS FOR A SECOND TERM.
Because you're stupid, and you deserve what's coming to you.