One more reason not to buy a cellphone
The circuit court panel majority concluded that because the defendant’s phone emitted information that could be picked up by law enforcement agents, he had no reasonable expectation of privacy and thus no warrant was needed to conduct the surveillance.
Of course, to be human is "to emit information," no matter than law enforcement agencies don't have instruments to pick all of it up yet. So when exactly is a warrant really needed? Soon, never, it looks like. And here's the technical kicker:
The case concerned a drug conviction based on information about the defendant’s location that the government acquired from a cellphone he carried on a three-day road trip in a motor home. The data, apparently obtained with a phone company’s help, led to a warrantless search of the motor home and the seizure of incriminating evidence.
The majority opinion held that there was no constitutional violation of the defendant’s rights because he “did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the data given off by his voluntarily procured pay-as-you-go cellphone.”
Sheesh, I would have thought a throw-away phone would be under the radar but apparently not!