It’s been a while since we’ve seen good laws, or even good proposals, out of Texas. There’s a proposal in the state to create one of the “most sweeping mobile location protection bills” laws in the US. Not only will law enforcement be required to have a warrant, mobile providers will also have to report on the requests as well.
As Texas changes from a Red state to a Purple state in the coming years, we may start seeing more of this kind of freedom-loving legislation. Like any big state, laws that cover so many people are bound to have an impact on other Americans in other states, if not at the federal level.
From Ars Technica we learn that the proposed law would require a warrant based on probably cause. Currently, under federal law, the cops and the FBI have broad powers to track you using your phone, to trace calls, and more.
But the best part is that cell phone providers would be required to publish an annual transparency report, hopefully letting people know if a warrant were issued against their phone.
The ACLU and EFF are working on making this happen but it won’t be easy.
Privacy has taken a beating since 9/11, and it’s always been a bit of a mystery why more Republicans are not concerned with Big Brother whittling away at their actual freedom, rather than their supposed “freedom” to own a piece of deadly metal. Ironically, Republicans are more interested in having the weapons to “defend” their freedom than they are in actually having freedom itself (and being free from the government making health care affordable doesn’t count).
But that may change with the passage of this bill in Texas. Here’s hoping.