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article imageBill requiring warrant for cellphone tracking approved in Maine

By Ashley Woods     Jun 3, 2013 in Politics
Augusta - A bill that would require police officers to obtain a warrant before tracking cellphone placement was passed by the Maine House of Representatives.
LD 415, a bill that protects cellphone user's privacy has been approved by the Maine House of Representatives. The House approved the bill with a 113-28 vote on Wednesday, followed by its passage in the Senate last week. The bill will now travel back to the Senate for enactment.
Sponsored by Senator Roger Katz of Augusta, the bill would require a warrant for law enforcement to engage in the location tracking of cellphones and other GPS-enabled devices.
There are two exceptions, however: emergency situations and cases where secrecy is necessary.
The bill would also require law enforcement to notify individuals they are being tracked within three days, unless secrecy is necessary, then the notification can be delayed by 180 days.
Maine is the first state to pass a law requiring warrants for cellphone tracking. This step in the direction of privacy protection is positioned to set an example for the rest of the country.
"With this historic vote, Maine's representatives recognized that Mainers care deeply about their privacy and want to bring our laws up to speed with advancing technology," said Shenna Bellows, executive director of the ACLU of Maine. "Today's vote brings us one step closer to putting necessary privacy protections in place while allowing the police to protect our communities."
Critics argue it would hamper police investigations. Not to mention the cost, $234,000. Nearly a quarter million dollars to enact the bill, a lack of these funds could cause the bill to fail.
More about Maine, Cellphone, Privacy, Bill, House
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