Markey Unveils Draft of Wireless Bill

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In the wake of an investigation that revealed over 1.3 million law enforcement requests for mobile phone info from providers, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) Thursday released a draft of a bill, the Wireless Surveillance Act of 2012, that would put some limits on those requests, including requiring a court order for location tracking.

The new law would require the FCC to set limits on how long carriers can keep customer personal information. It would also require law enforcement to make regular disclosures of the volume and nature of their requests. It would also curb data dumps from cell towers that yield info on large groups of users, in part by requiring requests to be more targeted.

The bill would require a judge to authorize the release of location tracking info, and only for probable cause that the info could uncover evidence of a crime. The Justice Department has argued that law enforcement wants more access to that data, not less, in order to track down criminals.

Markey last month asked the Justice Department for information on how it handles the information from all those data requests, but has yet to get an answer, Markey's office said Thursday.