Fourth Amendment Third Party Doctrine Cell Phone and Internet Privacy

The Third-Party Doctrine:Fading Fourth Amendment Protection in a Modern, Technologically Advanced Society From the NSA leaks made by Edward Snowden to the FBI’s demand for Apple to provide backdoor access to the San Bernardino shooter’s IPhone, the issues of government surveillance and digital privacy have been divisive and hotly-contested as of late. Apart from issues involving national security, there is one question that many current criminal defense attorneys may face in everyday practice: Is the government required to obtain a warrant for an individual’s cellphone records to track the defendant’s past locations when conducting a criminal investigation? Unfortunately, and perhaps not surprisingly, the answer is no in some jurisdictions. According to the recent majority opinion in United States v. Graham […]

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Stingray Cell Site Simulator and Fourth Amendment Invasion of Privacy

Not the Sting You Expected – Cell Phone Privacy Everyone knows what a stingray is and what it can do (R.I.P. Steve Irwin). Or at least they think they do. But this StingRay doesn’t live in the ocean, and it doesn’t respect the Fourth Amendment right to privacy from unreasonable search and seizure. You might find it wreaking havoc in your next federal criminal case. What is a stingray device? For over 20 years, devices that mimic cell phone towers (cell site simulator) have been employed by law enforcement to investigate and locate criminals. These devices were originally manufactured by a defense contractor called Harris Corporation with the trade name of StingRay, but the term has become synonymous with cell […]

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Is It Illegal To Record Conversations?

Is It Illegal To Record Conversations In Texas? Picture this — you’re having a conversation with your boss. It starts off as “constructive criticism” about your job performance. As his intensity grows, it starts to seem like there are more problems in his life than just the font you accidentally used in the latest news release. You look around and notice the office door is closed and no one else can hear the things he’s telling you, which seems to be driving his argument to even steeper heights. You’re also an iPhone wizard, so you decide to turn the recording app on while pretending to check the time. Later that night you replay the conversation that ruined your day to […]

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