View Full Version : [Video] Thomas Massie at Oversight Committee re: Geolocation and Privacy 3/2/16

03-02-2016, 11:35 AM

Geolocation Technology and Privacy

HEARING DATE: MARCH 2, 2016 10:00 AM


-To consider what the Fourth Amendment means in the digital age and examine the level of protection citizens have over their geolocation data.
-To review law enforcement’s use of devices, data, and technology that obtain geolocation information of individuals.
-To examine the Department of Justice’s policies and procedures governing the use of geolocation data.


-This hearing follows an Oversight IT Subcommittee hearing on Stingray surveillance technology in October 2015.
-The Supreme Court has provided limited clarification in recent years about whether a warrant is required for law enforcement to obtain geolocation information.
-While the Court has now required a warrant for placing a GPS tracker on a private vehicle, and required a warrant before searching the contents of a cell phone, the Court has not yet weighed in on whether a warrant requirement exists for all geolocation information, such as OnStar or other wireless device transmissions that reveal geolocation over time.

03-02-2016, 10:48 PM
Thomas Massie is truly one of the best of the people's representatives. He has never disappointed in any of the votes I have seen.

03-03-2016, 09:35 AM
Damn, I love Massie.

Disgusting to learn that having a cell means they know where you are and it's illegal to turn that off.

03-03-2016, 10:07 AM
Damn, I love Massie.

Disgusting to learn that having a cell means they know where you are and it's illegal to turn that off.

It's not illegal to turn off, it's simply impossible.

The reason your location is known with a cell phone is because the damn thing is constantly pinging cell towers. Kind of like how the MH370 flight pinged that communications satellite even though it didn't actually send any data about the flight. This is necessary though in order to make cell phones work. If your phone wouldn't remain in constant contact with a cell phone tower you wouldn't be able to receive calls and your phone would first have to log on with a tower before you could make a call.

The problem is that when you're connected to several cell phone towers you don't need a GPS receiver to pinpoint your location. It can be done with triangulating the signals from different towers which isn't even that complicated math compared to the work on that MH370 flight. This is something which is within the control of the tower operators.

03-26-2016, 12:55 PM
I can see needing to know which cell tower a phone needs to be connected to, what I have an issue with is recording that data. For example, placing a one time order to be mailed to you, sure, reasonable that an address needs to be known, but unreasonable that said data gets sold to third parties along with a record of exactly what was purchased. Last time I ever buy hemorrhoid creme over the interwebz!

The thing is, THIS is the type of data that ends up being far more condemning to a person than "breaking the law". Sir, we see you like to surf porn on your phone while within half a mile of a school, which means youre a sex offender now! Its not the big things that we worry about that will cause us the most damage. The infractions will be deemed bad, and their consequences will be seemingly minuscule. What people miss is it is the incremental collection that is damaging. Forgot to brush your teeth one day? Not a biggie. If its a pattern, I guarantee those patterns WILL be used to increase a persons health insurance. Patterns provide courts with circumstantial evidence only adding to the condemnation of the innocent.

Perhaps it is better to say that "without privacy, every action can be condemned".

03-26-2016, 01:01 PM
You know the phone company will use that data and store it and sell it if it can make them some money.

And the government will use their power to force the company to give it up. Maybe one day people will care about privacy enough to get at least one cell company to promise not to store the data so that they don't have it to give to the government, like private VPN companies. I doubt it though with this crowd of "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" types.