Google truly does know everything. Law enforcement is now turning to the search company to locate potential crime suspects. Google owns Android and Waze, along with several other smartphone apps – many of which have full access to your whereabouts. Police are now asking Google for lists of users who were near crimes when they occurred in hopes of finding suspects. 

How does this jibe with our Fourth Amendment rights and what can we do to protect our privacy in the Golden Age of Surveillance? I have an eye-opening conversation with Nathan Freed Wessler of the ACLU on how courts and lawmakers are struggling to deal with demands for data from Google and other sources by law enforcement agencies anxious to make use of the treasure trove of personal information they’re amassing.

Nathan Freed Wessler is a staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, where he focuses on litigation and advocacy around surveillance and privacy issues, including government searches of electronic devices, requests for sensitive data held by third parties, and use of surveillance technologies. In 2017, he argued Carpenter v. United States in the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to establish that the Fourth Amendment requires law enforcement to get a search warrant before requesting cell phone location data from a person’s cellular service provider.

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Carey Parker began programming computers in middle school when personal computers were just starting to become popular. For years, these twin interests percolated until he attended Purdue University and he learned you could get paid to do this stuff – it was called Electrical Engineering! After obtaining a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in EE, Carey wrote software for multiple companies, large and small. In recent years, particularly after the Edward Snowden revelations in 2013, he became deeply concerned about computer security and privacy. In 2014, he combined his passion for computers, cybersecurity and fantasy novels with the long-time desire to write the book: Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons.