In EPIC Suit, DOJ Identifies 182 Location Data Requests in District of Rhode Island from 2016-2019

June 21, 2021

As part of EPIC's ongoing lawsuit for cell phone surveillance orders issued by federal prosecutors, the Department of Justice identified 182 orders and warrants for cell phone location data under § 2703(d) from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Rhode Island from 2016-2019. During the same time period, the office handled 453 criminal cases. The District of Rhode Island is one of the smallest districts in the country. EPIC has previously obtained the number of location data requests for the District of Delaware and the Virgin Islands, two of the five districts that the DOJ has agreed to search for location data requests. EPIC is awaiting responses from two of the agency's other prosecutor's offices and will continue to update its comparative table as remaining districts release more information. Currently, prosecutors do not release any comprehensive or uniform data about their surveillance of cell phone location data. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Carpenter v. United States that the collection of cell phone location data without a warrant is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The case is EPIC v. DOJ, No. 18-1814 (D.D.C.).

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