The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its customs, border protection and immigration control agencies have implementedMassive purchases of location data ‘from citizens’ mobile phones The American Civil Liberties Union said on Monday, without a court order.
In a blog post, the organization said the files, obtained by the ACLU last year through a process under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), “shed further light on the government’s ability to obtain our most private information.”
In 2020, the Wall Street Journal already reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Bought without data a court order to access the secret website of citizens.
After this post, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit to compel the agencies to protect the information.
He added that the files show that DHS used “millions of taxpayer dollars… to purchase access to cell phone location information” from citizens – Americans and foreigners alike – through data sold by Venntel and Babel Street.
According to the ACLU, “enormous amounts” of information were purchased, despite the US Supreme Court protecting cell phone location data from government access without a court order.
“The Supreme Court has made clear that our cell phone location history exposes too much private information and deserves full Fourth Amendment protection,” said Nathan Fred Whistler of the ACLU in a statement published Monday.
The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution protects citizens from arbitrary registration and confiscation.
According to Shreya Tiwari, of the ACLU, the files make it clear The government attempted to “wash its hands of any procurement responsibility”. From the data in cases where a court order was needed.
The American Civil Liberties Union says the amount of classified information that the Department of Homeland Security has gained access to is “staggering.”
The Foundation cites as an example a three-day period in 2018, when files with approximately 113,654 location points (more than 26 per minute) were obtained in an unreported area in the southwestern United States alone.
The Civil Liberties Organization describes these documents as “further evidence” that Congress needs to pass a law ending the practice.
On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee will examine the government’s access to Americans’ personal data.
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