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Utah soon may need warrant to track cell phone locations

By   /   March 21, 2014  /   No Comments

By Josh Peterson | Watchdog.org

If you’re in Utah, your cell phone’s location data very soon may receive the protection of a warrant.

Lawmakers across the country are rallying to require law enforcement agencies to seek warrants for cell phone location data.

Lawmakers across the country are rallying to require law enforcement agencies to seek warrants for cell phone location data.

A state level bill, H.B. 128,  requiring law enforcement agencies to get a warrant to obtain the location data of an electronic device is on its way to the governor’s office.

Having passed through the Utah House of Representatives earlier in the month, as previously reported by Watchdog.org, an amended version of the bill also unanimously passed through the Senate on March 12.

The bill was sent to be printed so it could be placed on Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s desk for his consideration. The governor has until April 2 to veto the bill. If he doesn’t sign the legislation it still will take effect.

Herbert’s office previously told Watchdog.org it wouldn’t comment on the bill until it passed through the Legislature and was sent to the governor.

All across the country, members of state legislatures are working to put a stop to law enforcement agencies tracking cell phone locations without a warrant.

Both the Missouri and New Hampshire legislatures recently passed their own versions of bills requiring law enforcement agencies to get warrants to obtain cell phone location data.

Contact Josh Peterson at jpeterson@watchdog.org. Follow Josh on Twitter at @jdpeterson

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Josh Peterson is a DC-based tech reporter for the Franklin Center's Watchdog.org news site. Peterson previously spent two years at The Daily Caller covering tech and telecom regulatory policy as the publication's Tech Editor. During that time, he focused on cybersecurity, privacy, civil liberties, and intellectual property issues, and in addition to covering political protest movements. Prior to joining The Daily Caller in October 2011, Peterson spent time in DC researching and reporting on technology issues in internship roles with Hillsdale College's Kirby Center, Broadband Breakfast and The National Journalism Center, and The Heritage Foundation. Peterson has a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from Hillsdale College. He is also a musician and music enthusiast, and an avid martial artist.