Proposed cell phone privacy law in Texas requires warrants

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.

Texas via Shutterstock

Texas via Shutterstock

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.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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5 Responses to “Proposed cell phone privacy law in Texas requires warrants”

  1. MIAmobi says:

    There are solutions but until we get proper legislation making app developers have you op in instead of opting out, you will never know what you have downloaded to your mobile device. There will be a backlash as people learn how their privacy has been compromised Using a SilentPocket™ allows you to take control of your own privacy when it comes to Smartphone tracking. MIAmobi™ addresses this issue and many more problems associated with mobile devices.

    With over 1,500,000 mobile app’s developed for smartphones, many of which are stealth and are eavesdropping on your every move. Some are capable of turning on functions on your phone like your mic, camera, GPS, address book and more, even when it has been turned off. There is only one way to stop this if you really want to know for sure that you have control of your mobile device is to block all forms of wifi coming in or going out. Get informed at MIA-mobi

  2. jared says:

    thanks, i’ll try that.

  3. Just_AC says:

    I’ve had good luck just sending emails to [email protected]

    But I can’t get him to remove the dreaded “Recommended for you” popup

  4. Naja pallida says:

    Yeah, but Texas is also the state that removed traffic-light cameras because they caught a public official with his mistress with one. I don’t put my hopes very high in them not having loopholes you could drive a cruise ship through.

  5. jared says:

    Is there any way to write John a personal email. I’m a long time consistent reader of AB (>4 years) and I have a question.

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