Not everyone realizes that “electronic” surveillance can include not just what we think of as electronic information (email, etc.) but physical data as well. In an EFF article on the UK’s half million intercepts of communications data in 2008 — which has no judicial review — this is explained:
These orders can reveal lists of websites visited, email headers, name and address lookups, and, perhaps most controversially, the real-time location of a particular mobile telephone.
So your cell phone is continually reporting your location, which in the UK sounds like pretty easy info for authorities to get. This is a lousy idea from a civil liberties perspective, to put it mildly. For those of you who trust the authorities in your own country, think of the ones elsewhere that you don’t trust: they could have this technology too. (Credit: Mark Finnern) —Chris Peterson