Creepy ‘Geofence’ Finds Anyone Who Went Near a Crime Scene

In 2018, 23-year-old Jorge Molina was arrested and jailed for six days on suspicion of killing another man. Police in Avondale, Arizona, about 20 miles from Phoenix, held Molina for questioning. According to a police report, officers told him they knew “one hundred percent, without a doubt” his phone was at the scene of the crime, based on data from Google. In fact, Molina wasn’t there. He’d simply lent an old phone to the man police later arrested. The phone was still signed in to his Google account.

Going Here
click to read
check this site out
go to website
you can look here
read more
more
explanation
use this link
a knockout post
best site
blog here
her explanation
discover this info here
he has a good point
check my source
straight from the source
anonymous
go to my blog
hop over to these guys
find here
article
click to investigate
look at here now
here are the findings
view
click to find out more
important site
click here to investigate
browse around this site
click for more
why not try here
important link
address
hop over to this web-site
my website
browse around here
Recommended Site
Your Domain Name
Web Site
click this site
hop over to this site
i was reading this
click here to read
read here
i loved this
my blog
click now
you can try these out
informative post
top article
useful site
click this over here now
moved here
resource
about his
navigate to this site
click this
click here for more info
investigate this site
more helpful hints
read
over at this website
find
go to the website
try this site
look at more info
look what i found
Full Report
websites
Extra resources
get more
like it
click here for more
find out here now
this hyperlink
home
site here
discover here
click here for info

The information about Molina’s phone came from a geofence warrant, a relatively new and increasingly popular investigative technique police use to track suspects’ locations. Traditionally, police identify a suspect, then issue a warrant to search the person’s home or belongings.

Geofence warrants work in reverse: Police start with a time and location, then request data from Google or another tech company about any devices in the area at the time. The companies then typically supply anonymous data on the devices in the area. Police use their own investigative tools to narrow down this list. Then they may ask for more specific information—often an email address or a name of the account holder—for a phone on the narrower list.

Critics say the process is an invasion of privacy, often subjecting many people to an unconstitutional search. Now, in a rare step, two judges have denied requests for geofence warrants and questioned whether they complied with Fourth Amendment protections for searches. Lawmakers and activists see the court opinions as steps toward a potential ban on the practice.

“This is as clear as day a fishing expedition that violates people’s basic constitutional rights,” says New York state assemblymember Dan Quart. Earlier this year, Quart and state senator Zellnor Myrie introduced bills that would prevent authorities from using data gathered from geofence warrants. “It should never be used in a courtroom.”

Though relatively new, the practice is becoming increasingly common. Google reported a 1,500 percent increase in requests in 2018 compared with 2017. The New York Times reported the company received as many as 180 requests per week last year. Privacy experts tell WIRED that it isn’t just Google. Apple, Uber, and Snapchat have all received similar requests.

“This is a tactic that really can be targeted at literally any company,” says Albert Fox Cahn, founder and executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, a nonprofit civil liberties organization. The New York legislation would bar law enforcement from obtaining location data from tech companies or any of the nameless data brokers collecting the data from seemingly innocuous apps. The legislation would also prevent law enforcement from bypassing geofence warrants and buying location data directly, as the Secret Service did, a Vice report uncovered.

“This exact same data can be gathered by all sorts of commercial data brokers using the free apps on our phone,” Cahn says. “Police can potentially use them to get the exact same information as when they send a warrant to Google.”

Google itself has raised questions about the practice. Lawyers for Okello Chatrie, a suspect in a Virginia bank robbery, are questioning the legality of a geofence warrant that led to Chatrie’s arrest. Google declined to take a position on his case but, in an amicus brief, called a geofence request “an uniquely broad search of all Google users’ timelines.”

Quart, the New York state lawmaker, says geofence warrants are impermissibly broad and can gather data about bystanders. “I could easily see how a reverse search warrant could be used against protesters to violate people’s First Amendment rights.”

“Police have no idea how many people’s information is going to be captured,” Cahn says. “They don’t know if it’s one person or a thousand people. And the judges who are asked to approve these requests, they don’t have enough information to actually make an informed decision.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post TikTok Is Paying Creators. Not All of Them Are Happy
Next post The 10 Best Portable Coffee Makers: All-in-Ones, French Presses, and More