Surveillance Via Cell Phones
It captures criminals:
Today, even murderers carry cell phones.
They may have left no witnesses, fingerprints or DNA. But if a murderer makes calls on a cell phone around the time of the crime (and they often do), they leave behind a trail of records that show not only who they called and at what time, but where they were when the call was made.
The cell phone records, which document what tower a caller was nearest when he dialed, can put a suspect at the scene of the crime with as much accuracy as an eyewitness. In urban areas crowded with cell towers, the records can pinpoint someone's location within a few blocks.
Should a suspect tell detectives he was in another part of town the night of the murder, records from cell phone towers can smash his alibi, giving detectives leverage in an interview.
I am fine with the police using this tool, as long as the warrant process is there to ensure that they don't abuse the tool.
Posted on September 29, 2005 at 11:36 AM • 48 Comments