Entries with tag text messages.

Privacy Advocate Urges Washington State to Protect Text Messages

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-rights advocacy organization, is asking the Washington state Supreme Court to require law enforcement officers to obtain a court-issued warrant before reading text messages on someone’s mobile phone. The EFF contends that text messages “are the 21st Century phone call” and thus deserve the same level of protection from interception without court-issued warrants. The Washington Supreme Court recently ruled, in support of a state appellate court decision, that text messages are neither private nor covered by the US Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Washington debate stems from a case in which police arrested a suspected drug dealer and looked at text messages on his phone. They then assumed the identity of the suspect and responded to one message, arranged a meeting and subsequently arrested the recipient. All these actions occurred without a warrant. The state claims text messages carry no expectation of privacy. The EFF claims law enforcement should demonstrate probable cause and obtain a warrant to access texts. (SlashDot)(Network World)(Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Device Lets Dairy Cows “Text” Farmers

A Swiss research team has developed a device that alerts dairy farmers when their milch cows are in heat. This can be difficult to detect as feed supplements designed to increase milk production can change the animals’ metabolism and yield fewer visual signs that the cow is in heat. The new device uses sensors that measure body heat and motion, and then use an algorithm to determine whether the cow is in heat. If so, the system sends a short-message-service note to the farmer’s smartphone in German, French, Italian, English, or Spanish. The farmer pays for the text messages. The device’s inventors are with Anemon SA, a company that develops electronic equipment to help farmers manage their cow herds. They say their device is 90 percent accurate. Anemon plans to sell the device for about $1,400 each. (The New York Times)(Anemon) 

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