The Gantt Report
Cell phone calls and jail house walls
By Lucius Gantt
Black is back!
This column is about cell phones and the right to privacy but before I discuss that issue I would like to detour for a moment.
I want to thank the many, many Gantt Report readers, friends and supporters that contacted newspaper publishers, newspaper editors, web site managers and hosts for the huge outpouring of love and appreciation.
I often try to quit writing and my latest attempt had to be reconsidered because so many people contacted me and told me I couldn’t quit.
My good friend and literary protégée Andrea Giggetts wrote a column about The Gantt Report that nearly brought tears to my eyes.
My new media friend, Elliot Booker, host of the Time for an Awakening program, nationally broadcasted on the Black Talk Radio Network said on his national broadcast that I was a better editorial columnist than all of the Black writers on the pay rolls of devilish so-called major newspapers.
And, in the biggest recognition of all, the great Bishop Victor Curry invited me to appear on his highly regarded Tuesday Talks radio show on WMBM-AM in Miami, Fla. I was on to discuss Black media with many Florida media giants and national guests like Rev. Al Sharpton and writer George Curry.
I didn’t want to act like singer Pharell but I was so “Happy” when Bishop Curry invited me to speak at a big political meeting at his church in Miami in June. He instructed me not to curse or use bad language and I said I wouldn’t as long as I could talk about “devils”!
Anyway, I’m back but I’m not back! I will continue writing The Gantt Report but every now and then readers will get a TGR column from the archives, a sort of “Best of” The Gantt Report column.
So thank you fans and friends that convinced me not to retire. Even the people who are afraid to be associated with TGR whispered in their publisher’s ear that The Gantt Report must continue.
Now to this week’s issue facing African Americans nationwide!
I have a dear friend, Anita King, who is insisting that I get a smart phone. Not only did I tell her I didn’t want one. I explained to her that if I ever made any money I would discard or destroy the plain cell phone that I have.
I use cell phones as little as possible because I know identity thieves and other thieves like the CIA, FBI, DEA, HSA, KGB, Scotland Yard and other agencies are eager to use cell phone conversations, cell phone texts and messages against us.
Well, here is another reason not to talk so much on cell phones that was brought to my attention by Timothy M. Johnson. Johnson is currently incarcerated at the Jackson Correctional Institution in Malone, Fla.
According to him, Johnson is in jail because his arrest and conviction were obtained after law enforcement officers obtained cell tower dump logs without a warrant or order from the Court.
If you don’t know what a “dump log” is it is cell phone data that can show who you had a private conversation with and the area where you were when you had the discussion.
Historically, police have had to have a warrant or judicial approval before obtaining a telephone customer’s phone records.
Now, the courts have said police can observe and research your phone records regardless of how they get the records and if they find “suspicious” activity they can seek to get a warrant for records they already have after the fact.
So guess what? If you’re like NFL player Desean Jackson and you have friends that may be in the “game” and they call you, your records are not private and your US Constitutional Fourth Amendment rights have disappeared as well as your right to have a private conversation on your cell phone.
Even if you don’t know your friend or family member commits crimes the fact that you talked on a cell phone call is grounds for law enforcement to look at you. Who would have thought cell phone calls could lead to jail house walls?
If this is an issue that has importance to you, you can contact the person who has been fighting this fight at: Timothy M. Johnson, DC3 191403, Unit #G 41020, Jackson Correctional Institution, 10th Street, Malone, Florida 32445.
To my girl, Anita, I think I’ll use your smart phone because I don’t want a cell phone at all.
I also want to thank the brothers and sisters in prisons inside of prisons for making The Gantt Report the most widely read editorial column available in jails, prisons and penal institutions. (Buy Gantt’s latest book Beast Too: Dead Man Writing and contact Lucius at www.allworldconsultants.net)