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The NYPD is amassing a database of cell phone users, instructing cops to log serial numbers from suspects' phones in hopes of connecting them to past or future crimes...civil libertarians are alarmed by the new policy since normally a warrant is needed to obtain information such as calls made or numbers in an address book.
There are limits to the data's usefulness - all Chinese-made cells sold in India have the same number and some overseas cells are embedded with fake numbers.