A TERRIFIC news story with a German Politician detailing what T-mobile was able to learn from his phone presence ALONE:
They knew everything - where he was, who he was talking to, when he was actively engaged in something, or where he was on vacation. Turning off the phone before the meeting wouldn't even matter - because they had the trace right up to the point he turned it off!
Whether or not this makes us safer is another question, but it does not seem to me to be remotely illegal (e.g. a cop has a right to sit outside a coffee shop and write down everyone who enters and leaves over the course of a day, in public view). If we want to change THAT law, then fine, let's do that. But stop belly-aching about "illegal activity".
I will say I heard one compelling argument the other day:
Much like Kyllo vs. United States, if "the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of a private home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion" - in this case technology to explore private companies' databases and networks - then they've broken the law. But I do not think they've gotten anywhere near to that.