The Supreme Court Is Stubbornly Analog — By Design

"It’s this kind of lag that worries Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington. In the Carpenter case, the justices are responding to a precedent from 1979, when the court ruled that law enforcement didn’t need a warrant to use a pen register — a device that records the numbers dialed from a telephone — to track a defendant’s calls.1 This, Calo said, is a far cry from today’s detailed cell phone records, but the law treats them as though they’re the same. “How far do civil liberties have to be eroded before the courts say it’s a problem?” he said. “Technology moves quickly, and if the courts aren’t responsive, we can get into situations where law enforcement has to be doing these Orwellian things before the courts act.”"