US intelligence agencies stopped collecting data on the location of phones in the US without warrants. Departments got rid of this practice back in 2018, but did not publicly announce it. This is stated in a letter to the director of national intelligence of the United States.
The head of US intelligence has revealed information after a request from Congress Senator Ron Wyden. He decided to find out how the NSA and other agencies carry out the decision of the Supreme Court, according to which the US authorities banned the track data on the location of the electronics without a court order.
US National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said in a letter that US intelligence had already stopped collecting such data without warrants. Previously, departments used the provisions of the Patriotic Act, but now they have to conduct a standard procedure for collecting evidence in order to justify the need for surveillance and turn to the judge for a warrant.
The letter to Weiden also states that the decision of the Supreme Court represents a “constitutional and legal problem”, but does not exclude the use of such tools in the future. According to the Director of National Intelligence of the United States, neither the Ministry of Justice nor the special services could find a legal solution.
In December 2019, part of the provisions of the Patriotic Act adopted after the September 9 terrorist act, including paragraph 215, due to which intelligence agencies tracked Americans without warrants, will expire in the United States. Weiden said that if Congress wants to extend the provisions, then the law should explicitly prohibit tracking geolocation without reason. According to him, 2018 showed that Americans do not need to choose between freedom and security, because the authorities can give both.