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  • Writer's pictureLiane Jackson

Mass. Court Weighs in on Police Cell Phone Dragnets

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said a phone dragnet was OK because there was “particularized evidence that the perpetrator had used a cellular telephone during the commission of the offenses, or in the periods immediately before or thereafter, as the perpetrator apparently communicated by phone with a getaway driver.

However in a unanimous decision, judges said a “tower dump” would not be allowed if the police merely said they th

ought the perpetrator had a phone. The court also specified that warrants for tower dumps must be approved by a judge, and indicate that data about innocent people caught up in the dragnet will be promptly destroyed.

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