from Wired by David Kravets
The Obama administration says the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures does not apply to cell-site information mobile phone carriers retain on their customers.
The position is being staked out in a little-noticed surveillance case pending before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. The case has wide-ranging implications for Americans, as most citizens have or will carry a mobile phone in their lifespan.
At issue is whether the government can require federal judges to order mobile phone companies to release historical cell-tower information of a phone number without probable cause — the standard required for a search warrant. While judges have varied on the issue, the resulting evidence can be used in a criminal prosecution.