Rather than seeking warrants for a person backed up with probable cause, police have begun relying on geofence warrants that sweep up information on any device that happened to be in the vicinity of a crime.
Using these wide-ranging data requests, police often get information from companies like Google, collecting data on people who were in the area and almost all of whom are innocent. Police have used the tactic for serious cases like murder investigations, as well as nonviolent property crimes like burglaries.
Meanwhile, thousands of people have been arrested nationwide following protests over police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd, who died after being pinned down by officers in Minneapolis. On Tuesday, BuzzFeed News reported that the Drug Enforcement Agency had been given authority to conduct surveillance on protesters.