360° Coverage : Court sides with US in cell-tracking records case

2 Updates

Court sides with US in cell-tracking records case

May 9 2014, 9:16pm CDT | by

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department does not have to turn over information on cases involving warrantless cellphone tracking if the cases ended without a defendant's conviction, a...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

23 weeks ago

Court sides with US in cell-tracking records case

May 9 2014, 9:16pm CDT | by

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department does not have to turn over information on cases involving warrantless cellphone tracking if the cases ended without a defendant's conviction, a divided federal appeals court ruled Friday in upholding privacy protections for people acquitted of crimes.

The ruling came in a public records lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had requested information on federal cases in which law enforcement had obtained cellphone tracking data without a warrant to track a user's whereabouts.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had previously held that the Justice Department was obligated under the Freedom of Information Act to disclose case names and docket numbers for warrantless cellphone tracking prosecutions that ended with a conviction. But in a separate 2-1 decision Friday, a three-judge panel of the court said defendants who have been acquitted or who have had charges against them dropped enjoy extra privacy protections that outweigh the public benefit in disclosing that information.

"While this attention would have been warranted at the time of indictment, now that these defendants have been acquitted or had the relevant charges dismissed they have a significant and justified interest in avoiding additional and unnecessary publicity," Judge David Tatel wrote. He said a person acquitted of financial fraud looking to rebuild his life "might be especially dismayed" to learn of the information's release.

Though the appeal centered on a small number of cases, the dispute nonetheless unfolded against the backdrop of ever-advancing law enforcement technologies and the ongoing debate over privacy protections.

"Once a person has been publicly indicted, and that information is easily available on the Internet, it's just unrealistic to say that the person has an ongoing interest in the privacy of his public indictment" that outweighs the public's right to know what happened, said Arthur Spitzer, the legal director of the ACLU of Washington, who said he was disappointed by the decision.

The Justice Department, in responding to the ACLU lawsuit, identified 229 prosecutions since 2001 in which a judge had approved the government's request to obtain cellphone tracking data without making a finding of probable cause. The department refused to turn the list over, but after an earlier appeals court decision, ultimately released docket information for 214 cases that had resulted in guilty pleas or convictions.

The remaining 15 cases ended with an acquittal or dropped charges or had been sealed. Since the ACLU didn't challenge the Justice Department's authority to withhold information on sealed cases, the only cases at issue in the appeal were six — two that ended in acquittal, four where the charges were dropped.

Judge Janice Rogers Brown dissented from the majority opinion, saying the six disputed cases already exist in the public domain and can easily be accessed through a Google search or other means.

"An individual who is indicted and tried has no privacy interest that can protect the public record of prosecution from disclosure — even if the ultimate outcome was acquittal or dismissal," she wrote.

____

Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17 ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Associated Press</a>
The Associated Press (AP) is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Clashes between locals, Ebola team in Sierra Leone, curfew imposed
Freetown, Oct 22 (IANS) A mid-day curfew was imposed in the city of Kono in eastern Sierra Leone after two people were killed in a conflict between local residents and an Ebola team which tried to take a suspected patient for testing, media reported.
 
 
Indians in Gambia contribute to fight against Ebola (Lead, superseding earlier story)
Dakar (Senegal), Oct 22 (IANS) The Indian community in the West African nation of Gambia, has provided 865,000 dalasis ($20,567) to that country's government to boost preparatory strategy against the Ebola virus disease, a gesture that has been highly appreciated.
 
 
Nepal ministries monitor 'third worst airport'
Kathmandu, Oct 22 (IANS) Five Nepalese ministries Wednesday decided to monitor the country's only international airport after it was ranked as the world's third worst airport by a famous travel website, saying the airport resembled a "bus station in an impoverished neighbourhood".
 
 
Indians in Gambia contribute to Ebola fight
Dakar (Senegal), Oct 22 (IANS) The Indian community in neighbouring Gambia, one of the three countries in West
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

European Champions League standings
Paris, Oct 22 (IANS) Following are the European Champions League standings for Groups E to H after Tuesday's matches (tabulated under matches played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, against, points), according to Xinhua...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Rogerio set to break Giggs world record
Rio de Janeiro, Oct 22 (IANS) Sao Paulo goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni is one victory away from earning his fourth Guinness World Record by eclipsing a mark held by Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs. The 41-year-old will...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ryan Reynolds can't keep his hands off Blake Lively
Ryan Reynolds was ''really sweet'' to Blake Lively at the Angel City Ball. The couple, who got married in September 2012, made their first red carpet appearance together in New York City on Monday night (10.20.14) since...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kris Jenner doesn't know who Bruce Jenner is dating
Kris Jenner has ''no idea'' whether Bruce Jenner is dating her best friend. The 58-year-old reality TV star, who split from the Olympic gold medallist last October after 23 years of marriage, claims she doesn't know if...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
When Rihanna dressed like 'Harry Potter'
New York, Oct 22 (IANS) Singer Rihanna was spotted here in a Harry Potter style costume. She wore the wizard-like get-up while heading for a business meal here Monday, reports mirror.co.uk. The 26-year-old combined a...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Germany raises humanitarian aid to Iraq
Berlin, Oct 22 (IANS) Germany has pledged a further 20 million euros (about 25.5 million dollars) in humanitarian aid to Iraq, the foreign ministry said in a statement Tuesday. The additional funds are immediately...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
India calls on Israel, Palestine to resume peace process
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) India has called upon Israelis and Palestinians to resume the peace process as "dialogue remains the only viable option" to address the issues confronting the region. In a brief statement...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Airstrikes help ground forces fight IS: Pentagon
Washington, Oct 22 (IANS) Kurdish forces are in control of the majority of the Syrian city of Kobane despite efforts by the Islamic State (IS) to take the town, a spokesperson for US defence department said Tuesday....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Palestine, Israel urged at UN to halt unilateral initiatives
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon Tuesday called on Palestine and Israel to overcome differences and halt unilateral initiatives that fuel mistrust, so as to pursue long-term stability in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
China urges Israel to create conditions for peace
United Nations, Oct 22 (IANS) Chinese government has called on Israel to create necessary conditions for the resumption of peace talks with Palestine. At an open debate of the Security Council on the situation of the...
Read more on Politics Balla