The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that police must get a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects.
Just get a warrant
argued against the need for a warrant saying that they (law enforcement) could put a gps on any vehicle it liked, even the Supreme Court justices (they asked during oral arguments). So, now "big brother" does need to show probable cause and get a warrant first!
More interesting to me is that it was a nine to nothing decision. NOT unanimous, as there are two concurring opinions.
I urge you to read the decision yourself -- it's not that long. That's the only protection you have against others' wild characterizations of "what it really means."
Scalia, writing for the majority, says that in placing the GPS tracker on Jones' Jeep, "The Government physically occupied private property for the purpose of obtaining information." That was a search, and under the 4th Ammendment, a warrant was required.
To get around their own pesky prior Supreme Court decisions, Scalia reached waaaay back -- to an English case from 1765, Entick v Carrington, restating the issue as property/trespass, rather than the more modern Katz (1967) standard, which relies on a person's "reasonable expectation of privacy." Scalia et al. say that Katz isn't the only game in town, you can fall back to the older property based approach.
The concurring opinions point out some problems that the majority's ruling prompts. At one point in the majority opinion, dealing pre-emptively with such an objection relating to intercepts of electronic signals, the majority opinion states, "We entirely fail to understand that point."
I certainly agree with that! While the result is arguably one which supports privacy and what has been a dwindling 4th Amendment, it leaves many questions unanswered, particularly in areas where technology and individual privacy intersect.
This is a nice change to the directions of the Supreme Court recently to stick it to the individuals at the expense of other entities.
More privacy protection is always a good thing.
US attorney claims Supreme Court ruling might not affect his case. He cites a previous Supreme Court ruling that allowed GPS evidence.
We shall see.
time to rein in the police state.
... kind of throws a monkey wrench into that.
...by the Supreme Court. Now if there would be a similar judgement by some court about another issue, that of access to information in black boxes on automobiles. Especially ones that the owner cannot read for himself--like Toyota's...
There's a local case that hinges on GPS info. A volunteer firefighter was tagged with a GPS and it lead to his arrest for multiple arson fires. Among other fires a couple of local historic businesses were destroyed. The case may now end up being tossed due to this ruling. They guy is guilty beyond a doubt but......
This is a VERY narrow ruling. It only applies to the government actually placing a gps onto your vehicle, making this essentially a trespassing case.
The Supremes could have, but did not, rule about covert tracking in general or by 3rd parties such as via your cell phone, gps equipment built into a vehicle (as apposed to the gov't putting it there).
So the gov't demands auto makers build gps into cars because for accident re-enactment/safety purposes, then wants that data.
Too bad for the 4th Amendment that the Supreme Court didn't take a broader view of this case.
terms | privacy | contactCopyright © 2006-2020