USA Today: Listen up Supreme Court: Warrantless tracking of smartphones violates our rights (In the News)

USA Today: Listen up Supreme Court: Warrantless tracking of smartphones violates our rights

By Zac Morgan

On Nov. 29, the Supreme Court will review whether the government can get this information without a warrant. The case, Carpenter v. United States, will decide if the Fourth Amendment protects your information.

But the case also raises serious First Amendment issues about the right to free and private association.

Consider what happened during the 1950s when pro-segregation Southern states tried to get the NAACP’s membership list. Those states justified that effort using a range of governmental powers, including corporate registration, legislative investigations, and tax laws. Each time, no matter the excuse, the Supreme Court said no…

If the government can get location data of attendance at private gatherings, there’s little need to demand a membership list…

The Institute for Free Speech filed a brief in Timothy Carpenter’s case raising these concerns. Two left-leaning racial justice organizations, Color of Change and the Center for Media Justice, joined the brief. So did Americans for Prosperity Foundation and Tea Party Patriots, right-leaning organizations which advocate for limited government. Our brief warned that the “chilling effects from this invasive form of government oversight will do grave damage to the First Amendment.” 

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.