Access to mobile call detail records by law enforcement: Warrants are needed in Texas. What about the rest?

Posted on March 10, 2013  /  0 Comments

Smith v Maryland was a 1979 US case that permitted relatively easy access to phone records. Fixed phone records, because that’s all there was, back then. Mobile phone records yield a lot more information. But US law enforcement has been using the old rules to get the call records. But that may be about to change, at least in Texas. What about the rest?

Last month, Representative Bryan Hughes, Republican of Mineola, filed House Bill 1608, which would require law enforcement agencies throughout the state to obtain warrants and prove to a judge there was a probable cause of illegal activity before obtaining cellphone records in their investigations. It would also lift the seals on court orders for the data after 180 days. A companion bill has been filed in the Senate by Juan Hinojosa, Democrat of McAllen, and others have signed on.


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