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A person borrowed a cellphone and made a prank call and the following day the police contact the owner of the phone. The constable said "I can pull your call logs and you would have no say in it". My question is by call logs did he mean the fact that a phone call had been made from the phone to the restaurant or a recording of the call itself? If it's just the fact that the phone had called the restaurant what would that prove?

Can the police pull the "call logs" without the owners permission? Without a warrent? Rogers, the service provider, said they weren't sure if the police could do this and said the owner had to write to their legal department (not phone).

This incident took place in Victoria, B.C., Canada.

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Consult a lawyer, these things vary from state to state, country to country. –  Terry Chia Aug 4 '12 at 2:40
    
Of course law enforcement can pull the log files no issues and it's easy for them to get a warrant. You dont expect to phone provider contact you because you made a prank call. The POLICE is contacting you to get you before you make another prank call by the another phone. –  Andrew Smith Aug 4 '12 at 8:59
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closed as off topic by Scott Pack, Iszi, Gilles, AviD Aug 18 '12 at 20:30

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Storing all phone call conversation recordings would be infeasible. Phone companies keep logs to bill you from (from, to, time, duration, etc) and within jurisdiction they can be court ordered to disclose such information (to an extent).

With that said it may also be perfectly legal for the restaurant (a participant in the the call) to record all calls for training purposes. I know in Australia it is legal if disclosed at the beginning of the call.

Unless the pranks are violent, sexual or repetitive to an extent of harassment, or to an emergency service (police, fire, medical) I really don't think the police or anyone else in that matter will care enough to follow it up- They hopefully have more important things to worry about.

If you are concerned consult legal advice as recommended by Terry Chia.

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Just a quick note: all cell and landline providers store logs of the called numbers, including blocked numbers. In the UK and US, getting these numbers requires a warrant. In some states / circumstances, a second warrant is required to reveal any blocked numbers. The likelyhood of the CPS (or your-country-equivilent) granting a warrant for such a petty misdemeanour is microscopic. (disclaimer: IANAL) –  Polynomial Aug 4 '12 at 8:28
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@Polynomial, that depends on the kind of prank. If it crosses the border to insults or threats or creates costs, refusal of a warrant is unlikely. Germany is even working on adding "insults" to the "no warrant needed" list (for suspicion of terrorism, child pornography and copyright infringement). –  Hendrik Brummermann Aug 4 '12 at 13:16
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