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Should Cops Have Emergency Access To Cell Phones?

Aaron Ford, Democratic Senator, Clark County

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- A Kansas mother believes that if the police had access to cell phone GPS data, her daughter might be alive today. Missy Smith shared her story before the Nevada Assembly prior to the senate approving SB 268, which would grant Nevada law enforcement agencies that power.

“In circumstances where there are real-life immediate emergencies and cell phone access could assist law enforcement in resolving an issue such as saving a life, I think that this bill is going to help them do exactly that,” says Sen. Aaron Ford, one of the bill’s sponsors.

According to Ford, a law enforcement official facing an immediate emergency, such as an abduction, would call into Nevada’s Department of Public Safety with the request. The police would then contact the cell phone company for the latest information available about the cell user’s GPS.

Support comes from

The Nevada ACLU is “neutral” on the bill, according to Ford, but they did play a role in shaping the language.

“They provided an amendment that required any situation to be an immediate emergency situation as opposed to it being, quote, ‘an emergency,’” says Ford. “Rest assured that any abuse of this system is going to be monitored and dealt with.”

The bill now goes before the assembly.




Monday, April 29, 2013

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