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Archive for Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bill to make it easier to track cell phone signals on way to governor

April 2, 2009

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— A bill that would make it easier for law enforcement to track down a missing person through a wireless device is on its way to the governor.

House members approved a compromise measure 125-0 on Thursday, a day after the Senate approved it 39-0.

The measure says cell phone companies must release caller location information promptly to police when asked. Cell phone signals, known as pings, can be used to track a phone’s location.

The bill was inspired by the 2007 kidnapping and slaying of 18-year-old Kelsey Smith, of Overland Park.

Smith’s parents, Greg and Missey Smith, have pointed to a delay in getting their daughter’s cell phone provider to cooperate with police.

Comments

domino 5 years, 7 months ago

I understand the need for personal privacy and the cell phone companies to protect the privacy of their customers. I also believe there circumstances where personal privacy becoms secondary to personal safety. Law enforcement officials do not just try to get "ping" information on a whim - there is a real need and sometimes urgency for that information. Having to go thru the process of obtaining the legal paperwork sometimes can be time consuming and a slow process.

Cell phone providers need to make some changes in their policies. My daughter was receiving threatening text messages from another college student and had deleted part of those messages before she told me about them. When she told me she had saved some of the, but also deleted some, I told her to save any additional messages that were sent. She filed a police report and they took photos of the test messages on her phone. When I called our cell provider and asked what I would need to do to get a print out of her incoming text messages I was told that the only way to get them was to get a court order for them to release the records! And I am the one whose name is on everything on the phones!! I felt I should have access to that information without having to go thru the courts, but guess not!

Dayle Hodges 5 years, 7 months ago

My life was saved last summer because law enforcement was able to locate me through the pings on my cell phone. I think they should definitly have prompt access to them.

viewfromahill 5 years, 7 months ago

"The measure says cell phone companies must release caller location information promptly to police when asked. Cell phone signals, known as pings, can be used to track a phone’s location."

hmm... zingier pings....

Ronda, you once were a police officer, weren't you?

del888 5 years, 7 months ago

Today's news Bill to make it easier to track cell phone signals on way to governor

wHY do we need to track cell phone calls on the way to the governor? Shouldn't we track cell phone calls to bust the bad guys? Maybe the title should be: Bill on the way to governor makes it easier to track cell phone signals.

chzypoof1 5 years, 7 months ago

This is a perfect example of the government using a few tragic moments to get a bill passed. Same thing with the original Brady Bill and the Patriot Act. Just baby steps to a complete surveillance society.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" -Benjamin Franklin

Welcome to the HOPE we were promised

saoirseglen 5 years, 7 months ago

I wonder how long it is before kidnappers, rapists and other criminals figure out they need to find and destroy or ditch their victim's cell phone as a means of throwing law enforcement off the trail? For that matter, how long before criminals themselves go to disposable cell phones, if they haven't already, to avoid tracking by cell signal?

I can understand using cell phones in an emergency to help locate someone, however I would not want to depend upon the ability to ping a cell phone. There are still quite a few areas where there is no cell phone coverage and even in excellent coverage areas it is still possible to block signals with regular building materials.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 7 months ago

Any bill that could assist in finding a child/person and/or preventing a slaying, , under all circumstances is one that needs to be passed immediately.

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