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Supreme Court Rules Warrants Needed for GPS Monitoring 354

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-your-paperwork-in-order dept.
gambit3 writes "The Supreme Court has issued its ruling in the case of Washington, D.C. nightclub owner Antoine Jones, saying police must get a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects. A federal appeals court in Washington overturned his drug conspiracy conviction because police did not have a warrant when they installed a GPS device on his vehicle and then tracked his movements for a month."
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Supreme Court Rules Warrants Needed for GPS Monitoring

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  • Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:03PM (#38794187)
    Hopefully that'll bring this BS to an end, along with ending the jobs of the officers that continue to pull this stunt.
    Is getting a search warrant on someone really that time consuming?
  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by halestock (1750226) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:04PM (#38794223)
    It may not be time consuming, but I'm sure getting a warrant is a real pain in the ass when you don't have probable cause.
  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tsingi (870990) <graham.rickNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:05PM (#38794249)

    Hopefully that'll bring this BS to an end, along with ending the jobs of the officers that continue to pull this stunt. Is getting a search warrant on someone really that time consuming?

    The police regularly ignore the rules these days, it rarely ever costs anyone their job. In the future they will probably just not enter that particular info into evidence.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:10PM (#38794345) Homepage Journal

    Hopefully that'll bring this BS to an end, along with ending the jobs of the officers that continue to pull this stunt.
    Is getting a search warrant on someone really that time consuming?

    The police regularly ignore the rules these days, it rarely ever costs anyone their job. In the future they will probably just not enter that particular info into evidence.

    Yeah, but having convictions overturned due to failure to follow the law is a sign of incompetence. Consider this case centered around someone who was undeniably guilty of criminal activity, who will now walk free. That's not quite doing the job of Law Enforcement Officer, is it.

  • Re:cookie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:13PM (#38794439) Homepage Journal

    Cookies should require warrants.

    As most cookies are not installed by Law Enforcement, you're not quite following the plot.

    See, I as a private eye, could install a GPSr device on your car or cookies on your computer to serve me in my private investigations (or even my nefarious plot to take over the world) which has nothing to do with the 4th Amendment -- unless Law Enforcement tries to use any of the data I've gathered.

    Your computer is only yours in illusion.

  • Re:yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:16PM (#38794505) Homepage Journal

    "Fruit of the poisonous tree." The problem is that since police and prosecutors are hardly ever prosecuted for unreasonable search and seizure themselves, pretty much the only incentive for them to follow the Fourth Amendment is to see their evidence thrown out of court if it's illegally gathered. If they routinely went to jail for such violations, it might be a different story -- but they don't, and they never will, so this is what we're left with.

  • Re:yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:25PM (#38794671)

    just because he was illegally tracked doesn't mean he wasn't still guilty. The police should be disciplined, the criminal shouldn't be let off the hook

    Cops under your system: That dirty SOB, I know he's guilty of (horrific crime.) It'll be worth going on unpaid suspension for a month just to beat a confession out of him.

    Esp. since there will probably be some charitable giving to the cop during his discipline from other members of the force.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tsingi (870990) <graham.rickNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:27PM (#38794713)

    Hopefully that'll bring this BS to an end, along with ending the jobs of the officers that continue to pull this stunt. Is getting a search warrant on someone really that time consuming?

    The police regularly ignore the rules these days, it rarely ever costs anyone their job. In the future they will probably just not enter that particular info into evidence.

    Yeah, but having convictions overturned due to failure to follow the law is a sign of incompetence. Consider this case centered around someone who was undeniably guilty of criminal activity, who will now walk free. That's not quite doing the job of Law Enforcement Officer, is it.

    I figure this is why the action was barred: "The government had told the high court that it could even affix GPS devices on the vehicles of all members of the Supreme Court, without a warrant."
    And they said: "Oh no you won't either!"

  • Re:sanity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hideouspenguinboy (1342659) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:46PM (#38795099) Homepage

    This court didn't create corporate personhood, it just clarified that aspect of it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood [wikipedia.org]

    Corporate personhood isn't the problem anyway, though for all it's vilification in the media you'd never know it. If you want to sue AT&T, you want to be able to sue AT&T and not some individual who works there - personhood makes sense in a lot of scenarios.

    Citizens united just let corporations and unions be more honest about funneling money to candidates - now that it's more open we can address it. I call that at least a partial win.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jessified (1150003) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:51PM (#38795189)

    Those pesky checks and balances.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cyner (267154) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:53PM (#38795239) Homepage

    Hopefully that'll bring this BS to an end, along with ending the jobs of the officers that continue to pull this stunt.
    Is getting a search warrant on someone really that time consuming?

    The police regularly ignore the rules these days, it rarely ever costs anyone their job. In the future they will probably just not enter that particular info into evidence.

    Yeah, but having convictions overturned due to failure to follow the law is a sign of incompetence. Consider this case centered around someone who was undeniably guilty of criminal activity, who will now walk free. That's not quite doing the job of Law Enforcement Officer, is it.

    Yes it is! You can't break the law and uphold the law at the same time. It is a grave disservice to society letting this many go; but justice would be holding accountable those who failed to obey the law in order to put the bad guys away.

  • Re:Ruling..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:59PM (#38795335)
    For the most part people sit and complain about the ruling they don't like, for the ruling they do like they mostly shrug and say, well yes of course.
    The Supreme Court is generally disliked by both parties, The conservatives think the Court it too liberal, the Liberals think the court is too conservative. However it is mostly because the way the Court is structured it is outside the normal showboating politics, where a Judge who tends to lean one way will not get his job threatened for "Flip Flopping" or what is more generally called changing ones opinion based on facts.

    The biggest problem people usually have is in their minds Legality = Morality while they are rather disjointed. Often they work hand and hand but not all ways. Because it is legal for you to do something it doesn't make it morally rite. Also if it is moral or immoral to do something it shouldn't be legal/illegal, based on moral alone.
  • Re:yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Monday January 23, 2012 @03:02PM (#38795377) Journal

    How many police officers would be willing to do their jobs or properly pursue criminals if they didnt get at least some accomodation under the law?

    They get accomodation under the law. They are allowed to do all sorts of things normal people can't do, as long as they follow the proper procedures. If you expect to be unable to follow those procedures, I don't really want you as a cop.

    cops are pushing suspected criminals because it is their job. I don't think we would get better justice by making a habit of pursuing those that pursue suspects.

    The problem occurs when the criminal in question is a cop. If a cop breaks the law, he's a criminal. He deserves to be treated as such. Protecting bad cops is enforcing criminality.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jaymzter (452402) on Monday January 23, 2012 @04:03PM (#38796271) Homepage

    The U.S. is like the European Union. A single whole but composed of multiple sovereign governments that retain most of the power to themselves.

    Wrong. If you read the Constitution you will see that it is not a compact between "multiple sovereign governments", which would imply that there is some higher authority which resides in the States to create a constitution. Rather, it derives its genesis from "We the People" as a whole. You are likening the Constitution to a contract between individual parties (the States), when in fact the States comprising the Union were in fact never party to the "contract". Their job was to ratify the agreement of the citizens. There was a long discussion about this between 1860 and 1865.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ironjaw33 (1645357) on Monday January 23, 2012 @05:36PM (#38797451)

    Punish the people who break the law, punish cops who break the law more severely because they are given more trust, but keep the evidence.

    And here you have the reason for 'tainted evidence' rule - cops are not punished more severely. They are punished very lightly or not at all.

    But throwing out the evidence punishes not the cops or prosecutors but the society as a whole. It makes no sense, it only serves the interest of criminals -- collude with cops, taint all evidence, then taint all evidence of tainting the evidence, and everyone goes free.

    Throwing out illegally obtained evidence protects the innocent from being violated by the police when the police only have a hunch that someone is a criminal. Otherwise, there will always be a cop or prosecutor willing to break the law and receive punishment on the hopes that their illegally obtained evidence will put away a criminal mastermind. If their alleged mastermind turns out to be innocent, what then? Throwing away evidence is premised on the whole presumed innocent until proven guilty idea.

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins

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