With the US National Security Agency under siege for collecting phone data on millions of Americans, Massachusetts’ highest court said Tuesday that a similar practice is not allowed in the state.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled, 5 to 2, that the Massachusetts Constitution prohibits law enforcement investigators from gathering cellphone records that track individuals’ movements without first obtaining a search warrant from a state judge. The ruling makes Massachusetts the latest of several US states to set stricter limits on government access to citizens’ phone records.
Matthew Segal, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, said the ruling is “an enormous victory for everybody in Massachusetts who cares about privacy. It protects people in Massachusetts and gives them rights that Massachusetts law enforcement officers have to respect.” Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Hiawatha Bray can be reached at email@example.com.