Court: FCC Allowed to Manage Tower Siting Process
An appeals court sided with the FCC recently in a decision that upholds the agency's authority to accelerate the process of gaining local approval for cell towers. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that local governments are not allowed to stymie or otherwise hinder the permitting of cell towers. Municipalities cannot deny requests to modify wireless equipment, said the court, especially if the modifications don't represent a substantial change to what's already in place. In 2014, the FCC overhauled the federal environmental review process in a bid to make it easier for wireless network operators to add distributed antenna systems and small cells to existing towers and sites. A number of cities and counties sued, claiming the FCC overstepped its authority, misinterpreted the Spectrum Act, and violated the states' 10th Amendment rights. The towns also took issue with the FCC's declaration that once a company applied for approval, it would be deemed granted within 60 days. The court, however, ruled the FCC does have the authority, and is interpreting and applying the law correctly. The decision is a win for companies that operate cell towers.
Law Enforcement Could Use CLOUD Act to Skirt 4th Amendment
Mar 15, 2018
The CLOUD Act would give law enforcement both at home and abroad new access to Americans' personal data in violation of the Fourth Amendment, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The CLOUD Act (H.R.
Court Rules Cell Location Data Fair Game
Apr 15, 2016
The U.S. Court of Appeals has sided with the government and ruled that law enforcement can gather cell location records without first obtaining a warrant.
Judge Says Law Enforcement Needs Warrant to Use Stingrays
Jul 13, 2016
A federal judge has tossed evidence discovered by Drug Enforcement Administration officers after they used a Stingray to locate a suspect without a warrant. The case involves a drug trafficking ring in New York City.
FCC Takes Steps to Facilitate 5G Deployments
Mar 22, 2018
The FCC today took several actions that should make it easier for wireless network operators to deploy 5G. First, the agency reduced the red tape needed to put up 5G cells.
CTIA Loses Cell Radiation Labeling Fight In Berkeley
Sep 22, 2015
A judge sided with the City of Berkeley in a law concerning cell phone radiation and labeling in stores. Berkeley won an initial ruling earlier this year that requires cell phone retailers to put up signs that spell out the possible risks of using cellular devices.