Reverse Search Warrants

NACDL is working with coalition partners in New York to ban reverse search warrants. 

Reverse search warrants, or geofence warrants, require companies like Google to produce data regarding all devices using the company's services within a certain geographic area during a given period of time.

NACDL's Fourth Amendment Center worked with organizational partners and legislators to draft legislation in 2020 (SB 8183/AB 10246) to prohibit geofence warrants and voluntary reverse location requests, through which law enforcement can attain location data from data brokers and other companies without a warrant. Similar legislation (SB 296/AB 84) was introduced in the 2021-2022 session but did not advance out of committee.

In March 2022, a federal district judge found that law enforcement's use of a geofence warrant to identify a suspect in a bank robbery was unconstitutional and in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment. Michael Price, Senior Litigation Counsel for the NACDL Fourth Amendment Center, was one of the attorneys representing the defendant, Okello Chatrie. Read more about the case and ruling.


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