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Texas Bills Would Bar Warrantless Snooping On Phone Location 277

pigrabbitbear writes "The Supreme Court may have approved the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens for just about forever, but the good old state of Texas isn't going to take that lying down. Texas lawmakers don't believe that cell phone location data is fair game for law enforcement, and a couple identical bills filed in Texas's House and Senate would provide sweeping protections for private cell users."
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Texas Bills Would Bar Warrantless Snooping On Phone Location

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  • Not necessary (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This isn't necessary anyway. Not when everyone willingly reports their location to Facebook and Twitter every time they need to brag about every bite of whatever they're eating. Or every bowel movement afterward.

  • Dammit, Texas! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tylikcat ( 1578365 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:23PM (#43106889)

    First you're incredibly regressive (say, dealing with reproductive rights) and then you do something pretty cool.

    • Re:Dammit, Texas! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:28PM (#43106975)

      That sounds a lot like the sentiments expressed yesterday [] about Kentucky (Rand Paul's state.) Perhaps you people need to rethink the stereotypes you've been trained with.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I like how you generalized in your criticism of his generalizing.

      • Re:Dammit, Texas! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo ( 1000167 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:40PM (#43107141)
        They're not exactly stereotypes if the states go out of their way to prove it. Arkansas overturning abortion vetoes and Texas holding the rest of the country hostage in regards to putting "Intelligent Design" into everybody's textbooks have actually happened and are not based on prejudices and stereotypes. The South is a very confusing place lately.
      • Naming two specific issues is stereotyping?

        It's not really that far from how I feel about Rand Paul - I really support his discussion of drones and a number of other civil liberties issues. And disagree with him pretty strongly at least as many.

        I'd be pretty happy to work with social conservatives in support of civil liberties... or to at least try to. (I mean, if they can't shut up about my body and my sexual preferences, it's just not going to work.)

        • by moeinvt ( 851793 )

          I'm more than happy to work with any liberal who wants to support civil liberties and stop U.S. military imperialism. These causes require taking power and funding away from government.

          However, the same liberals are often promoting the ideas of a government-run healthcare system, new and higher taxes, more social programs, more regulations on energy use and other causes which require expansion of government power.

          As long as government has this much wealth and this much power under such centralized control,

    • Re:Dammit, Texas! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by operagost ( 62405 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:36PM (#43107095) Homepage Journal
      Maybe you should consider what freedom actually means instead of attaching labels to individual issues.
    • Re:Dammit, Texas! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by StormyWeather ( 543593 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:40PM (#43107139) Homepage

      I think that I speak for a large amount of the libertarian bent Texans when I say that most of us don't like abortion, but if someone wants to do it themselves we aren't going to get in the middle of it in any fashion other than to make sure that the patient can become fully informed of the development of their unborn child to that point, and be informed of any medical procedure and it's positive and negative effects upon them. Heck getting orthognatic surgery is something that gets more councelling and support than an abortion in many ways. One thing a lot of pro abortion people put on their blinders about is that many women are forced or "strongly coerced" to have abortions by parents, boyfriends, bosses that knocked them up, etc. These women can be led through the process without ever really knowing what is going to happen to them physically and psychologially until it's irreversable. I know a woman that had to have the aboriton process on a fetus that died inside her. She was devestated emotionally for years, and this was something completely out of her control. Not only that she still suffered the post partem but had no baby to bring her happiness. I've also known women that have had abortions pushed by scared and angry boyfriends that regreted it to the point of depression, so there is noone that can convince me that abortion is an emotionally void process that should just be mechanically performed with no councelling at all.

      However, if you want us to pay for it, then we will fight it tooth and nail. The govenrment has no place funding chopping up babies any more than it has perusing cell phone records without a warrant. It simply just shouldn't be in the business at all unless there is cause for dire public injury. Also a lot of us are pretty pissed about the conservative overreach of government just as much as the liberal overreach. Personally for example I think the government banning gay marriage is stupid as the day is long. They deserve to be just as miserable as us married folks.

      • Wow. I actually just agreed with a libertarian on 90% of what they were saying....

        They deserve to be just as miserable as us married folks.

        Make that 91%

        • Re:Dammit, Texas! (Score:4, Informative)

          by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @05:32PM (#43109465)
          Do you realize that the libertarian position on gay marriage is to remove the underlying incentive to want to get married?

          Did you think homosexuals want to get married because of their undying belief in the institution of marriage? Fuck no..

          Homosexuals want to get married because the words 'married', 'marriage', and 'matrimony' appear 1138 times within the laws of the land passed down by our elected representatives over the years. The use of the term within the statutes most often describe special rights, benefits, and privileges given only to married people. Homosexuals want those special rights, benefits, and privileges.

          Adding homosexuals to the 'special rights group' doesnt enhance liberty. Unlinking those special rights from the institution of marriage is the only way to enhance liberty.

          A single eye opening example is that I can't file taxes jointly with my roommate that shares expenses with me. Homosexuals want the right to file taxes jointly, but the 'gay marriage movement' isn't up on giving everyone the right to file taxes jointly. Quite the opposite, if everyone that lived together could file taxes jointly then that would be one less reason for homosexuals to want to get married.

          The gay marriage movement isnt about freedom, liberty, or equality. Its not libertarian in nature at all.
    • Federal law trumps state law. this was nothing more than a hissy fit.

      • Federal law trumps state law. this was nothing more than a hissy fit.

        It's not even that- It's show-boating; it's chest-pounding and marketing to Texas voters. Remember when they were going to pass a bill outlawing certain kinds of TSA searches at Texas airports? While it would be fine with me, it's the same kind of thing- they know they won't get anywhere with it, but they can point to it at election time.

    • Wait for it to actually go forward before you forgive them for other boneheaded regressive things the legislature does. A year or two ago, there was some noise about Texas not tolerating TSA invading our privacy, standing up for citizen's rights. They quickly backed down after predictable "Why do you want terrorists to be able to kill American children nonsense."

      There was also some question over whether they had the right to do that, but bottom line, when it comes to defending your rights against the g
      • I thought they backed down because the FFA/TSA threatened to prohibit flights to and from various cities in Texas. The time it would have taken them to fight it in the courts would have cost Texans a lot due to the inability to utilizes the airspace.

    • Well don't count them out yet. I *AM* a Texan. But I will be the first to admit there are some things that just "ain't rite..."

      Recently, and I believe it was here on Slashdot, Texas was proposing a bill which would outlaw the use of drones by ordinary citizens to spy on business especially when they are being used to detect illegal activity such as polluting the environment. This was a move designed to prevent whistle blowers, not to defend any rights or for public safety.

      A bill to prevent wireless snoop

    • Ironically, both tie into their "old world" mentality: Women should shut up and stay in the kitchen, and you should get off my lawn

      Meanwhile the rest of the country is trying to be "progressive" in both categories. Women have rights, and big brother is installing video cameras on your lawn.

    • I've lived in Houston for 15 years. I think it has something to do with Texas' root of being a "Lone Star" state in the Union, i.e., we used to be our own country -- the Republic of Texas. And a lot of people here are still proud of that root to this day.

      So whenever the federal government starts to impose some draconian policy over the entire nation, Texans have the natural tendency of saying, FU, not here in Texas. And I suspect if/when things got out of hand and a new revolution were ever needed, it mi

  • Should be Obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crow ( 16139 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:24PM (#43106903) Homepage Journal

    All of these questions about what requires a warrant should be obvious. If civilians can do it without any special authorization, then it's fine for law enforcement to do it. If law enforcement expects special access due to their authority, then that special access needs a warrant.

    Any exceptions should be clearly stated in law, such as access to criminal and DMV databases.

    • Re:Should be Obvious (Score:4, Interesting)

      by silas_moeckel ( 234313 ) <silas&dsminc-corp,com> on Thursday March 07, 2013 @04:04PM (#43108275) Homepage

      Law enforcement needs to be held to a higher standard, higher than commercial or private ones. Simple case my son might want to build a quadcopter with a camera on it for a science project. This to me seems something reasonable for people to play with. Allowing police to do the same to gather evidence does not.

    • You're assuming far to much common sense be applied here. If we allow that kind of thinking to grow, what are the thousands of loophole abusing lawyers and congress critters supposed to do? Get real jobs??
  • by Experiment 626 ( 698257 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:48PM (#43107245)

    While we're on the topic of warrantless wiretaps, there's something I've been trying to figure out.

    Bush starts the warrantless wiretap thing, the reaction from the left is to fume with anger at the horrible abuse of power.

    Obama continues it and adds in the whole "assassinate Americans using robotic aircraft" twist, and reaction from the same people is "I support the President on this, though I have mild reservations on a few aspects".

    My question is... what the heck is up with that?

    • by The Dancing Panda ( 1321121 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @03:03PM (#43107463)
      I hate when people say "you liberals", as if there's a conglomerate out to kill your babies and turn all your sons gay. Different people have different opinions. The things you hear on the radio that "liberals believe" or "conservatives argue" are mostly bullshit. It's like assuming Rush Limbaugh speaks for all conservatives (though...does he? His bullshit gets repeated as fact quite a bit on my FB feed).

      Anyway, I'm fairly moderate. Drone strikes should probably be considered acts of war. Attacking Americans on American soil is wrong, we have a police force to arrest those people. Attacking Americans that have joined an enemy in a war zone, and are actively fighting or actively planning to fight our troops (maybe not directly. planning attacks counts), doesn't seem wrong. We don't have a police force to arrest those sorts of people. Bringing them in and putting them on trial is the best possible solution, but it's not really practical, and the military strategy has to account for them some other way.

      Whether the war itself is just is another question entirely.
      • Wow. I'm speechless. A post on Slashdot with which I agree 100%. If only I had the mod points.

      • So what you're saying is that the constitution and the bill of rights do not apply to US citizens who are outside of the US? Somehow the rule of law only applies inside it's borders and someone can mark you for death with a simple signature? How about a 16 year old child?
        No seriously, i would love to hear how you feel about this. Why in any shape or form is this "OK"? Enemy combatants in a warzone is one thing. People who have never even shot at Americans who are 8000 miles away in a country that we are n

      • Attacking Americans on American soil is wrong, we have a police force to arrest those people.

        I can guarantee numerous bullet holes and/or downed drones if any ever start flying over the US and have attacked a person (and are not just used for video recon). Sure they would be hard to hit, but with as many rifles as there are out there (and the increased purchases if said event happened), as well as everyone potentially being a target, it would be commonplace.

      • Quoth Agent K : A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

        Politicians, and political pundits are just very very people.

    • by MrHanky ( 141717 )

      Yeah, what's up with that? One would expect to hear from the ACLU, which one does []. Perhaps the Huffington Post would have a bunch of murdered children covering their front page, like this []. One would not, however, expect the Democrats themselves to attack their own presiden, which they don't. That's just not how party politics work.

    • "oh, but I can't show you the data, it's classified." meaning "I can't turn this boat on a dime, and frankly, it would spill my drink if I could."

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      It means that there is no real political variation in the USofA.

    • by guibaby ( 192136 )

      Here is whats up with that:

      The difference between republicans and democrats is the spelling. That's pretty much it. They both want bigger government, more interference with our private lives, more power for their party. Neither is interested in you or your problems, unless it serves one of the purposes above. The whole conservative vs liberal thing is all smoke and mirrors. There are ways to fix this problem:

      Stop voting for people in those parties. Let states governments choose senators

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Whats up wiot it is that you nede to stop getting your information from 'news' sites.

      "assassinate Americans using robotic aircraft"

      sigh. Again, it's not different now then when Bush, or anyone else in the last 40 years was in office. It's just the same thing with a different piece of military equipment.
      You probably should look into the situation that must occur before authorization is given and accepted.

    • I am a liberal both by definition and by my own words, and I have spoken out online (whee! where's my medal) repeatedly against this whole robotic assassination thing, as you put it. I have long been playing the harp that Obama is at most irrelevantly different [].

      Many people are willing to give Obama a pass on stuff just because he's their guy just because many people gave Bush a pass on stuff because he was their guy. There's stupid people on both sides. Don't pretend that this is a Liberal thing, because it

    • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

      Bush starts the warrantless wiretap thing, the reaction from the left is to fume with anger at the horrible abuse of power. Obama continues it and adds in the whole "assassinate Americans using robotic aircraft" twist, and reaction from the same people is "I support the President on this, though I have mild reservations on a few aspects".

      My question is... what the heck is up with that?

      What you describe simply isn't true. There isn't any significant portion of people who fumed with anger at Bush's warantless wiretap but then support Obama on the same with a few reservations.

    • Well, i'm Tony, and I speak for ALL liberals. I asked, they're OK with me speaking for them.

      We're NOT ok with Obama's continuing of the warrantless wiretapping, and we're NOT ok with the whole "assassinate Americans without a trial" (robots or no). We're actually pretty pissed about it. If you listened to us at all, you'd have noticed that.

      Actually, I'm pretty pissed at the Democratic party. I can count on my fingers the number of representatives that I consider to be liberal. The rest are just... well

  • Interesting that they're big on personal liberty when it comes to this, but yet they're so biased in favour of patent holders in the Eastern District

  • Texas (Score:5, Interesting)

    by claytongulick ( 725397 ) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:56PM (#43107369) Homepage

    A lot of people are confused about how this sort of law could be passed in Texas, which according to left-wing groupthink is a regressive bible-thumping gun-toting desert filled with rednecks who hate Darwin and force kids to pray in school.

    This, of course, is nonsense. Much of the anti-Texas sentiment results from fundamental ideological differences that go to the core of the "left" versus "right" arguments.

    Texans, for very valid historical reasons, have a deep seated mistrust of centralized government and authority. This can be seen in pretty much every part of our culture, especially our constitution and court systems. This way of thinking, of course, is a direct attack on everything that those on the "left" believe in. Even worse, the evidence clearly shows that our way of governing and beliefs work very well - from tort reform, to right to work, to zero income tax (just to name a few) we have a state that cherishes individual liberty, resists government interference, and we have one of the best economies in the world to show for it.

    The success of Texas is a sore tooth to those on the "left". As a result, they are forced to rely on ad-hominem attacks and mischaracterization in a defensive attempt to protect and justify their beliefs, even though even casual comparisons of the success of cities and states that implement those beliefs shows that they are clearly misguided.

    The fact is, disturbing as it may seem to those on the "left", Texas is beautiful, tolerant, friendly and a wonderful place to live. I moved my family here from the east coast seven years ago, and it was one of the best decisions we've ever made.

    This law is just another example (among many) of Texas following in its long tradition of codifying individual rights and protecting liberties. Yes, Texas has some black marks in it's history - but show me a state (or country) that doesn't!

    There is a reason why people from all over the country are flooding here, and why we gained four seats in the house in 2010. As much vitriol, misrepresentation and flat out lying that those on the "left" do about Texas, the truth is becoming more and more evident to those around the country, that just as once the United States was the place that people fled to in order to escape oppressive government, now Texas has become a safe haven within the U.S. for the same reasons.

    • I miss Dallas.

    • Well put... This Texan agrees. Remember the Alamo!
  • Spying on Texas citizens? A-OK.
    Spying on Texas businesses? NO WAY []
  • But now how will NCIS find their buddies when they visit Texas? That's their favorite way to look up someone

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.