Supreme Court to Weigh Warrantless Cellphone Data Searches

The Wall Street Journal covers Carpetner v. United States.

A pillar of modern policing will come under Supreme Court scrutiny Wednesday as the government defends its power to seize, without a search warrant, data that telecom and internet companies collect about an individual.

The case involves an armed robber the Federal Bureau of Investigation nabbed after studying his movements over a 127-day span, using cellphone location records agents obtained from Sprint and MetroPCS without establishing probable cause to believe they contained criminal evidence.

The convicted robber in this case, Timothy Carpenter, is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and a Stanford Law School clinic, with supporting legal briefs filed by tech companies including Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. He is backed as well by conservative and libertarian groups including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Tea Party Patriots, Citizens United and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

The case, Carpenter v. U.S., is the latest that seeks to square decades-old legal precedents with the breathtaking social and technological changes of the digital age.

Read the full article at The Wall Street Journal.