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GPS Tracking Without a Warrant Declared Legal 926

Posted by samzenpus
from the track-away dept.
jnaujok writes "The Ninth Circuit court has declared that attaching a GPS tracker to your car, as it sits in your driveway, or by extension on a public street, and then using it to monitor every one of your movements, is totally legal, and can be performed by the police without needing a warrant. So, if you live in the Western United States, big brother has arrived."
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GPS Tracking Without a Warrant Declared Legal

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  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @04:54PM (#33373716)
    So then, it must also be legal for me to put one of these devices on my wife's car, or on the local squad cars, without their knowledge? Why do different rules apply to government employees than apply to the rest of us?
    • by mbrod (19122) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @04:58PM (#33373760) Homepage Journal
      That's what I was thinking. What if someone puts these devices on all cop cars and creates an app to publish where they are all at real time? Bet they wouldn't like that, but would it be legal?
      • by meerling (1487879) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:02PM (#33373820)
        Considering the way some of them spaz out when they get photographed in a public place, they'd go totally ballistic. But it would be a great way to identify where the speed traps are.
        • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:55PM (#33374652)

          Cops are lazy.

          They put the speed traps in high-revenue spots over and over again. There's a pattern. There are GPS units that list all the known speed traps and warn you as you approach. There's no radar to jam, no lasers to thwart, just the position of known speed traps.

          Er, sorry, what I meant to say was that since the police would only enforce the speed limits in areas that are particularly dangerous to speed in, it warns you to slow down as you approach a hazardous area.

          Also, the GPS tracker would have to chirp to send out your data. It would probably be of VHF since that's unregulated (148 - 152 MHz is a good one) so all you'd have to do is check for broadcasts of that frequency. GPS refreshes at 1Hz, so that's probably what they would chirp at unless they're using burst downloads.

          FYI, the range on GPS / VHF transmissions in urban environmentsis very short. It gets unreliable after a few hundred meters and it completely thwarted by brick.

      • by VEGETA_GT (255721) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:05PM (#33373878)

        My question is, if I find a device on one of my motorcycles or car, is it legal for me to remove said strange device. One of those times I like being in Canada

        • by Whorhay (1319089) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:09PM (#33373936)
          Actually I'd think it a great time to sanitize the vehicle incase you were doing something naughty. Then call in the local news media and bomb squad. Nothing like advertising what the police are doing with the publics time and money and making them use up more of it sending out the bomb squad to remove their device.
          • by Captain Splendid (673276) * <capsplendid@gmail. c o m> on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:13PM (#33373988) Homepage Journal
            ^^This. If the police department starts becoming responsible for a bunch of overblown bomb hoaxes a la Boston, this idea will go down faster than a lead balloon.,
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              Interestingly enough, Massachusetts was one of the places that ruled GPS tracking requires a warrant. It's like Mass and Cali are reversing in terms of sanity.
              • by icebike (68054) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:10PM (#33374870)

                U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has also ruled that a warrant is required. Reported here on /. [slashdot.org] less than 20 days ago.

                This decision is bound for the SCOTUS because you can not have different laws in one part of the country as compared to another part due to the Equal Protection Clause.

                The Ninth is the most over-ruled circuit in the entire country. Stay tuned.

                • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @07:06PM (#33375596) Homepage

                  The Ninth is the most over-ruled circuit in the entire country. Stay tuned.

                  By quantity, not ratio. It's by far the busiest circuit in the country. Most cases that go to SCOTUS are overturned (which makes sense as the Court would only see the case if there was some issue with the lower court's decision or a need to resolve it with other decisions), the 9th is overruled roughly as much as any other, e.g. in 2007 it was overruled 19/22 times, while the next busiest district was overruled 4/5 times.

                  So, I wouldn't bet on the results of the inevitable SCOTUS case based solely on the 9th's largely mythical "most overturned" status.

                  I'd like to bet on the results on the basis that it's fucking obviously a 4th Amendment violation. But if that reasoning worked, they wouldn't have ruled that way to begin with. :P

          • by whoever57 (658626) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:24PM (#33374172) Journal

            Then call in the local news media and bomb squad.

            Do you know how many bombs are defused? By a "controlled explosion". As soon as the bomb squad realise what they are dealing with, what is the likelihood of a "controlled explosion" being used on your car?

            Alternate suggestion: attach the GPS unit to another vehicle. A bus? Your neighbor's car?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Peach Rings (1782482)

              It's probably best to just drop it in a river or off a pier or something then. Those things can't be cheap.

              (That is, if you can even get it off your car.. it's probably attached with strong magnets. I wouldn't even know what to look for, even if I jacked up my car every day and looked around with a flashlight.)

              • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:04PM (#33374794)

                It would cost about $300 for the tracker. The receiver would be about $1000. I used to work at a place that tracked animals via GPS / VHF collars for wildlife researchers. There were a few cases where the animal would look, shall we say, rather humanoid, but in all of those cases that was a willing animal.

                Anyway, that $300 would get you a GPS unit with antenna, a processor board with memory, and a VHF transmitter that sends out the location. They'd be able to read that location on the receiver. The battery would be a Lithium cell and would run for up to a year. It would be potted for weather proofing. If they had reusable batteries, then you'd be able to use the units pretty much indefinitely.

                It could also be set up to record your location throughout the day at intervals no finer than 1/second. (Civilian GPS refreshes that fast, and there's no way they could get their hands on milspec.) It could easily save up the data and broadcast it at a set time (like 3am when you're asleep or 4pm when you're at work) and the receiver would get all the locations you've been in the last day. It only takes about 8 bytes to store a GPS location, so an 8Mbit Flash module is enough to store a year's worth of locations. This would all be on a board roughly 1" x 1.5" x 0.5", plus battery and antenna.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by greenbird (859670)

            making them use up more of it sending out the bomb squad to remove their device.

            Nah. They'd just prosecute you for calling in a false report, interfering with an investigation and obstruction of justice then send you a bill for any costs associated with their response.

          • by turkeyfish (950384)

            Do devices exist that would permit someone to detect if a GPS has been added to a vehicle, items of clothing, luggage, packpack, etc.? Seems as if the police have created a new market here.

            I've heard of wives and husbands placing such devices with loggers on each other's cars to try to catch instances of infidelity and in cases where corporations are spying on one another, but clearly serious freedoms, lives and property are at stake if the government or anyone else readily begin to monitor people'

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Zerth (26112)

          My question is, if I find a device on one of my motorcycles or car, is it legal for me to remove said strange device.

          And can I sell it? [stuff.co.nz]

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by ScrewMaster (602015)

            My question is, if I find a device on one of my motorcycles or car, is it legal for me to remove said strange device.

            And can I sell it? [stuff.co.nz]

            Probably not, and since it's not your property they'd probably get pissed if you sold it. Me, I think I'd just wrap the thing in a coil of heavy copper wire and discharge a hefty capacitor bank through it. Then I'd record the cop retrieving it and post the video on Youtube. Maybe some of officer so-and-so's neighbors might have something to say about it.

            Does anyone else find the thought of ordinary cops skulking around after dark, attaching things to private vehicles just because they feel like it, more

        • by youngone (975102) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:48PM (#33375420)
          That happened in NZ last year. The guy involved wound up in court arguing that the device belonged to him, as the Police had left it on his car. He won too.
        • by kheldan (1460303) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @07:22PM (#33375794) Journal
          I don't know about you, but if I found one on one of my vehicles, I'd just attach it to someone else's vehicle and say nothing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Time for a Constitutional Amendment.....

      No. I take that back.

      Where in the Constitution was the central EU government ever given permission to tracking the People's movements (whether walking, horseback riding, or in a car)? I can not find it. The US Court has made a poor decision, because they ignored Our Rights in amendments 9 and 10. If such a power exist, it has been reserved to the Member States (or the people).

    • by redelm (54142) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:04PM (#33373866) Homepage

      No, they don't! The "police" have no special powers other than exactly what statutes give them under special circumstances (arrest, crime in progress, etc). Since I do not know of any statute granting GPS powers, the only way the police can do this legally is because everyone can.

      This is an important distinction between the American & British (&other systems): In the US, the government derives its' powers by delegation from The People. If The People do not have a power, they cannot delegate it. Under the UK (&other) systems, the Sovereign holds all powers which S/He graciously grants to the people,
      starting with Magna Carta. The Sovereign still holds other power unavailable to individuals.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DragonWriter (970822)

        The "police" have no special powers other than exactly what statutes give them under special circumstances (arrest, crime in progress, etc). Since I do not know of any statute granting GPS powers, the only way the police can do this legally is because everyone can.

        This is an important distinction between the American & British (&other systems): In the US, the government derives its' powers by delegation from The People.

        The fact that government powers, in theory, derive from popular consent does not

      • by turkeyfish (950384) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:48PM (#33375416)

        They can legally do it because the court says its legal. What part of the US judicial system don't you understand?

        Thanks for all the platitudes, but the history of justice in the US is actually rather different from that you learned in grade school. You might want to brush up on an infamous character in the US southwest, Judge Roy Bean. His was a racket that enriched him at the expense of justice, all the while being perfectly legal. Keep in mind the tooth fairy is not actually real.

    • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:05PM (#33373880)
      I think somebody should put GPS transmitters on the Ninth Circuit justices' cars immediately, and register wheremyjudgesat.com.
      • by eth1 (94901) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:40PM (#33374402)

        No, no, if you're going to put GPS trackers on officials' vehicles, you don't want to just publish the coordinates of everywhere they go. That would very quickly lead to the discovery and removal of said device.

        Wait till they go somewhere questionable, then "coincidentally" show up with a camera and publish pics instead. The tracker will survive longer, and the evidence will be much harder to refute. :)

    • by buybuydandavis (644487) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:33PM (#33374312)

      Recall the recent story about a school district where no one was found criminally liable for tapping the cameras of student laptops while they were at home. I think there was something like 50k images taken. You think maybe some of those were of minors partially clothed, or entirely nude? Masturbating? Having sex?

      Would anyone but the government get away with wiretapping, video surveillance, and kiddie porn?

  • by zero_out (1705074) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @04:55PM (#33373728)
    Where I grew up, a person's driveway is most definitely within the domain of "reasonable expectation of privacy." And it's backed up with "git offa ma propertie! "
    • by gurps_npc (621217) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @04:59PM (#33373776) Homepage
      I agree with you and the dissenting Judge Kozinski (Regan appointee). Judge Kozinski said that the court was prejudiced against poor people, taking away their rights simply beause they could not afford a garage He was right, your driveway is your property, people have an expectation of privacy on it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by daniel_newby (1335811)
        No, you have zero expectation of privacy in your driveway. What you have is an expectation of non-trespass and non-vandalism.
        • by Vancorps (746090) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:23PM (#33374146)
          You could very easily argue that installing gear without your knowledge to your car while in your driveway would be considered vandalism. I'm just uncertain why they can't get a warrant to do it. There seems to be a war on oversight for the last decade and realistically even longer. When it become bad to have to justify your actions? In the case of FISA you don't even have to justify it before you do it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bkpark (1253468)

        So, in cities where public nudity is a crime (likely a misdemeanor), do you have a legal right to be stark naked in your driveway?

        There are ... degrees of privacy/private control. Driveway is your private property in the sense that you have right to decide who can be on it. But if you haven't erected a fence, you have no right to tell people whether they can *look at* your driveway (and things on it).

        GPS tracking, aside from all the other complicating factors, is not too different than people (or police) lo

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bwayne314 (1854406)
      so if i have "no trespassing" "beware of pit-bull" and "trespassers will be shot" signs posted all over my 4-acre property, and a plain-clothes cop comes along to stick one of these things on my car at night, is it my fault if he gets unrecognizably mauled by three pit-bulls and/or shot from my porch?
  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @04:55PM (#33373730) Homepage
    Other District Courts of appeals have ruled it illegal. Right now, it is illegal in Washington DC, but legal in California. Time for Kagan to show us what she's made of.
  • by wiredlogic (135348) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @04:56PM (#33373738)

    Since police powers are an extension of the rights every citizen possesses it will naturally be legal for anyone to do this without permission.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by easterberry (1826250)
      Wait, you can detain and arrest people in the States as a citizen? And enter people's homes (with your bosses permission)? And tase people who get unruly?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by wiredlogic (135348)

        More or less yes. You have to have justifiable cause and the details may vary by state but every citizen can make an arrest for a crime or even a planned crime. This is how police officers get their arresting power.

        There was a case a few years ago of an immigrant police officer who was found out not to have valid citizenship and that invalidated all of his arrests. He had been brought in illegally as a child and never became naturalized. The interesting twist is that he had been an MP in the US military for

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by The Moof (859402)
      Actually, that's the messed up part. From the judge's ruling:

      The court's ruling, he said, means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes.

      So only if you're rich enough to have that security booth and gated community/property, you have that right to security.

  • Why I despair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @04:57PM (#33373742)

    What really bothers me about stories like this is that the general public seems to not care.

    I'm sure it's awful to live in a country where protesting the government will get you arrested or worse.

    But it's a different kind of awful to have friends and neighbors who just can't be bothered to stick up for the civil rights of their fellow citizens.

    • Re:Why I despair (Score:4, Informative)

      by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:03PM (#33373838)

      I think people care, but people are also aware that the only ruling that matters will be SCOTUS. Currently, this is a hot issue in various courts and they all rule differently. SCOTUS will make the call that defines this issue.

    • Re:Why I despair (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:05PM (#33373876) Journal

      But it's a different kind of awful to have friends and neighbors who just can't be bothered to stick up for the civil rights of their fellow citizens.

      The problem is, that's not how they see it -- you're not asking them to stick up for the civil rights of their fellow citizens, you're asking them to stick up for the civil rights of criminals. In today's culture, suspicion == guilt.

      • Re:Why I despair (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gorzek (647352) <gorzek@gmailREDHAT.com minus distro> on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:15PM (#33374022) Homepage Journal

        Even in the comments to this article, at least one person echoed the common sentiment, "I don't do anything illegal so I have nothing to worry about."

        People seem oblivious to the fact that, if these sorts of encroachments are tolerated, authorities will only seek more and more power--until something you do every day actually is illegal, and we'll have the monitoring infrastructure to back it up and enforce it.

      • Re:Why I despair (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @06:42PM (#33375350)

        Hell, you dont even need suspicion...

        Everyone is automatically assumed guilty. This is a direct violation of the principles of America.

        The law is engineered to get you... no matter WHAT the truth is. Prosecution want you in jail, no matter what. They do not care if you're innocent. They just want to win, and be right in their own mind.... despite truth.

        Just look at how we argue politics today. We just scream points at each other. No one listens. Each side is out to win, and they dont want to hear truth. They want to WIN. THAT is how the law works...

        They want a win.... not justice, truth, or to uphold the constitution.

  • by jgtg32a (1173373) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @04:58PM (#33373770)
    I've been sitting here for 5 min trying to come up with a snarky comment, but the shear stupidity of this has rubbed off on me and I've got nothing.
  • So Then... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by brainboyz (114458) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @04:59PM (#33373782) Homepage

    I can walk through the parking lot at the police station and attach GPS transmitters to all the squad cars and publish that information to the internet because they have no expectation of privacy, right?

  • by ZuchinniOne (1617763) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:00PM (#33373788)

    Woo Hoo ... now I can finally keep track of which Strip Clubs to go to when I want to have a word with my Congressman.

  • Land of the free? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by santax (1541065) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:01PM (#33373806)
    I guess that is free as in beer? Having said that, here in the Netherlands it isn't much better. At least you guys are allowed to insult politicians.
  • by Whorhay (1319089) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:02PM (#33373826)

    I can understand why this decision turned out the way it did. Placing a tracking device on your vehicle is about the same as following you around with an unmarked vehicle. It's much harder to detect of course and so you might think you are unobserved when that's not true.

    Anyways I can see this possibly creating a small market for GPS jamming devices. The legality of such devices of course would be questionable if not outright illegal.

    • by Sprouticus (1503545) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:15PM (#33374024)

      You missed the finer points. Like the fact that they tresspassed on him driveway to plant the device...

      Personally if driveways are public space, then I want to go setup a cookout on the driveway of one of these judges...

    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:28PM (#33374238)

      I can understand why this decision turned out the way it did. Placing a tracking device on your vehicle is about the same as following you around with an unmarked vehicle.

      The primary difference being that it can be conducted en masse - i.e. its possible to track thousands of vehicles without committing any significant manpower. I have a similar problem with ANPR [wikimedia.org] - one unattended machine can do what would otherwise take thousands of officers to do.

      The cliched response to both of these examples is "you have no expectation of privacy in public" - but that is a legal principle formulated in a simpler time before automation (especially automation on the back-end) was even conceivable. I think a principle more suited to the current situation (which will only become more extreme as the automation on the back-end becomes more and more capable) is that if surveillance requires resources not normally available to the average citizen then it requires a warrant. I think a principle along those lines more closely matches how the average joe sees the world, which is pretty much the definition of "reasonable."

      As the purpose of a warrant is to maintain oversight to prevent abuse, it makes even more sense because more power always equals more temptation for abuse so being able to do something that a normal person can't reasonably do is practically by definition more opportunity for abuse.

  • by MobyDisk (75490) * on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:03PM (#33373834) Homepage

    The article actually covers the facts fairly well, but it would be much better if the writer didn't label every quote "conservative" or "liberal" with a seemingly naive understanding of the meaning of those terms. For example, when one judge points out that not enough poor people become judges, so they are underrepresented, he is labeled a "raging liberal." This comes from the oversimplified stereotype that liberals love the poor and conservatives hate them. I would expect this from radio or TV pundits, but not from Time magazine.

  • by scharkalvin (72228) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:04PM (#33373854) Homepage

    http://www.ladyada.net/make/wavebubble/

    Then they won't see ya!

  • by Anon-Admin (443764) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:05PM (#33373870) Homepage Journal

    In Texas I can use deadly force to protect myself, my Property, and others.

    If I see a person, in my drive way, F**King with my Car or Truck, I will shoot them.

    So, They have the right to put it there and I have the right to shoot them to protect my property. Sounds fair.

    The real question comes in not the legality of the placement but in the legality of trespassing to place it, and if your car is in a locked garage can they break in to place it?

    • by blair1q (305137) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:27PM (#33374212) Journal

      You might want to reread that self-defense clause again.

      You can use deadly force to protect people and property from imminent danger. Someone poking a hand under your bumper is not that.

      And there's generally going to be no way you'll prove self-defense against a cop, since you have to presume a cop is assaulting you legally unless you know specifically otherwise. you might have a chance if he's assaulting you without telling you he's a cop, but that won't work if he's under cover, since "I didn't know he was a cop" is the whole point of that. And killing a cop isn't just murder or manslaughter, it's a cop-killing, and for that you get special treatment.

  • Countermeasures (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:06PM (#33373892) Homepage Journal
    Okay, so, as a citizen of California, I have a question for the Slashdot techies out there. These GPS trackers that can be tacked onto my vehicle. How large are they? What do they resemble? Do they give off any transmission signal/EM radiation of some sort. I am personally appalled by this particular ruling, but if that's how things are going to be, then let the arms race begin. I want to know what, exactly, these GPS trackers do. Do they transmit your location data back to the GPS sat system? Or do they transmit to some kind of local receiver? Do we know that frequency they transmit on?

    If the police and government are going to take active duty to track all citizens, without the burden of providing a reasonable level of suspect, then I say we, as citizens fight back for our rights. If the local police want to track our vehicles, what kind of devices can we hack together to detect these nasty little tracker chips? There has to be some way to build a receiver similar to whatever the police use to detect the GPS data, attach it to a small wand or golf club or something, and wave it around our car every time we get in it to make sure the trackers are not installed. So, GPS nerds out there, how's about we start putting together a How-To to homebrew a GPS tracker detector? Then, if we find a tracker attached to our vehicle, we can simply pull it off and duct tape it to the local stray cat.
    • Re:Countermeasures (Score:5, Informative)

      by topham (32406) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:13PM (#33373998) Homepage

      The trend is towards cellular phone style devices; GSM or CDMA radios with GPS unit. No keypad or screen required so they can be quite small. Battery life is an issue, however they go to sleep of they aren't moving so they only need to work for the duration of a trip.

    • Re:Countermeasures (Score:4, Interesting)

      by v1 (525388) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:13PM (#33374000) Homepage Journal

      Then, if we find a tracker attached to our vehicle,

      is it ours? What's the law regarding when someone abandons their possessions on your property?

      If I found one of these on my vehicle, then I can take possession of it? Didn't someone recently get into the press for finding such a device and ebaying it? iirc the police or whoever contacted ebay and got the auction taken down. I didn't see what happened after that.

  • Yet another reason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iceaxe (18903) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:06PM (#33373894) Journal

    Yet another reason to take the bus or train.

  • by cvtan (752695) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:07PM (#33373898)
    an aluminum foil hat was enough. This guy is way ahead of the curve: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01407/foil-car_1407008i.jpg [telegraph.co.uk]
  • TFA kind of sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by metrometro (1092237) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:07PM (#33373910)

    Can anyone link me to the actual decision, particularly the apparently barnburning dissent? Why why why can't mainstream media link to primary documents occasionally?

  • Yes, and... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cosgrach (1737088) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:09PM (#33373934)
    If I find such a device on my car, I will either: 1. Smash it into little tiny bits. 2. Attach it to another car at random. 3. Call the bomb squad an tell them that there is something suspicious on my car that I did not put there. 4. Ignore it. 5. Ebay, baby! Track that mother fuckers!
  • by HeckRuler (1369601) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:14PM (#33374008)
    This has already [google.com] been circumvented.
    So the cops are going after lay citizens and stupid crooks, a fair number of which really do deserve to be caught.
  • by kurokame (1764228) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:17PM (#33374058)

    There's an important distinction here which isn't mentioned above.

    From the look of it, they didn't declare that it's explicitly allowed by law, they only declared that it's not prohibited by law under the fourth amendment. IANAL, but that sounds like we're in a much better situation in terms of fighting this than we could be.

  • by seifried (12921) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:17PM (#33374062) Homepage
    This is why most small GPS and cell phone jammers come with cigarette lighter plugins, so they can live in your car. If you want to take a private trip (and not have access to your own GPS or cell phone of course) you may want to invest in one of these (easier than crawling under your car and inspecting it every time you want to go do something. Or so I read in a magazine. http://www.dealextreme.com/search.dx/search.portable%20jammer [dealextreme.com].
  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:37PM (#33374362)

    to attach device? or to ensure the device is not removed?

    you have to believe they'll fully cover themselves, here. its probably not just the right to attach but also the right you have to inspect your car and remove unauthorized items from it!

    this is fraught with problems. how am I to know that this is a cop-box (as I call it) and not some terr-a-wrist(tm) box? any box that I did not put on my car is a 'trouble box' and should be removed. I have no idea what the heck its doing. could even be a bomb! why would I even be expected to tolerate such a thing?

    what if my car has some wireless gear on it (say something that goes from trunk to hood and I didn't want to run cables so I did a wireless link) and suppose their transmitter interferes with my units operation? that's willful interference! suppose it fucked with a safety or security system I installed?

    only an idiot would allow such a law!

    yes, yes, I know. I fully know who buys and pays for our laws these days.

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