ACLU: United States Feds Buying Phone Location Data To Surveil Its Citizens
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been purchasing location information from third-party vendors to circumvent the normal warrant process, According to documents that were released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The documents reveal that government agencies such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
were able to acquire large amounts of information about the location without supervision from the courts and used it to monitor the movements of millions of cell phones throughout the US.
Typically, the acquisition of data on private communications in the United States directly from companies that provide the services (i.e., telecom companies) is a requirement for a warrant that must be approved by a judge.
However, purchasing information from intermediary companies is not subject to the same restrictions.
It gives police agencies the right to gather personal data that they would not otherwise be able to access.