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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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  • They got one right?!?!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:05PM (#38794233)

      Quick someone call the CDC! We have a sudden outbreak of common sense in the Capitol!

    • we just have too highly a politicized process for people to understand that.That includes members of this site who one day will cheer someone/something on and the next day vilify it.

    • Even a broken clock is right twice a day...

    • My thought exactly, except with a big "DAMN" in front of it.

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

      by larry bagina (561269) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:38PM (#38794929) Journal
      Even crazier -- it was a fucking unanimous decision. Not one of them disagreed with the fundamentals.
      • Re:Ruling..... (Score:4, Informative)

        by SydShamino (547793) on Monday January 23, 2012 @05:01PM (#38797777)

        And 4 out of 9 - almost a majority - believed that this tracking was wrong because of our right to privacy even in a public place, not solely because tracking of this sort constitutes a "search" by the government.

        If just one more justice would agree, then we could finally start our privacy rights growing again instead of eroding.

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

      by jellomizer (103300) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:59PM (#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:Ruling..... (Score:5, Informative)

      by DesScorp (410532) <<DesScorp> <at> <Gmail.com>> on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:14PM (#38795567) Homepage Journal

      They got one right?!?!

      They got two right, with the recent religious freedom case in Hosana-Tabor vs. EEOC. And just like that case, this was a unanimous decision from SCOTUS. That's two Supreme Court ass-kickings in a row for this administration, from both sides of the aisle. I had always thought that the upcoming "Obamacare" case would be a 5-4 ruling either way, depending on what side of the bed Anthony Kennedy woke up on that morning. Now I'm not so sure. I don't think that one will be unanimous too, but now I wouldn't be surprised if it were 6-3 or 7-2 against. SCOTUS seems to be a lot more attuned to the notion that the Constitution is a restraining order against government lately.

  • Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:03PM (#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 @01:04PM (#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.
      • by idontgno (624372)
        Is this the part where someone posts a lolcat macro'd with something ending with "UR DOIN IT RONG!"?
      • Warrants (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mindcandy (1252124) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:26PM (#38794687)
        Depends on the judge (I do a lot of subpoena work, on boths sides).

        I have seen some that are "rubber stamped" with only a vague description of what they're after (eg: "computer equipment") .. I have seen some where the judge says "Apartment #3 is not sufficient to identify the residence" and "Computer equipment does not sufficiently identify the property sought" and the police had to go back and get permission (from the landlord) to take a picture of the door and go back to the judge along with serial numbers and such of the devices.

        The judge in the 2nd case is doing it right .. because what if the police work is sloppy and the stolen computer is serial number AB123456 and you have a computer that's DE78910 but the same exact model .. guess which defendant is getting their stuff back.
      • Re:Good. (Score:5, Informative)

        by DrgnDancer (137700) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:38PM (#38794943) Homepage

        Ironically in this case, they had probable cause and a warrant. Oddly they chose to ignore the terms of the warrant and invalidate their search. I was reading the facts of this case, and I was appalled; both by the incompetence of the police and their assumptions about privacy and searches. A Federal judge issued a combines FBI/DC police team a warrant to install a GPS device on this guy's car for a ten day period in DC (I'm not clear on whether they had to ten days to install the device, or they could only track him for ten days. It's immaterial as you'll see.) They waited 11 days and got one of the feds to do it outside of DC (he was in Maryland).

        So they went through the trouble of establishing probable cause and getting the warrant; then merrily decided that the warrant didn't matter and proceeded to ignore its restrictions.

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

        by Jessified (1150003) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:51PM (#38795189)

        Those pesky checks and balances.

        • Re:Good. (Score:5, Informative)

          by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:03PM (#38795411)

          Your post should be +5

          It's amazing how many people don't understand checks-and-balances even though they learned it in school. And I'm not just talking about the 3 branches of government, but also the Check of the States upon the central power (tenth amendment).

          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.

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

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

          • 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.

            Until around 1861...

    • Re:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tsingi (870990) <graham.rick@gma i l .com> on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:05PM (#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 @01:10PM (#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.

        • by Jhon (241832)

          "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."

          If the evidence obtained without warrant is not entered in to evidence for the trial, and a conviction occurs without any "tainted" evidence, there's no cause for a judgement to be overturned.

          I'm not a lawyer, but I think you'll f

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

          by Tsingi (870990) <graham.rick@gma i l .com> on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:27PM (#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:Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Cyner (267154) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:53PM (#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.

          • by Alex Belits (437) *

            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.

            You mean, if a cop drives over a speed limit, everyone who was ever arrested by him, should be immediately exonerated, right?

            Actually it's the stupidest thing about US legal system, ever, that reliable, verifiable evidence can be thrown out for any reason. Justice must operate on facts, not fiction. 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. Maybe some kind soul will want to sacrifice his career and years of his

            • Re:Good. (Score:4, Interesting)

              by qbast (1265706) on Monday January 23, 2012 @03:16PM (#38796457)

              You mean, if a cop drives over a speed limit, everyone who was ever arrested by him, should be immediately exonerated, right?

              Actually it's the stupidest thing about US legal system, ever, that reliable, verifiable evidence can be thrown out for any reason.

              No, it is not. It is the single most important rule that makes police respect the law at least sometimes.

              Justice must operate on facts, not fiction.

              But it does not operate on facts. It operates on two sides (prosecution and defence) playing tug of war. Facts help a little, but good rhetoric helps even more. This is adversarial system, which means that even if defence attorney knows for a *fact* that his client is guilty, he is required to try and get him exoneration or good deal.

              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.

              Maybe some kind soul will want to sacrifice his career and years of his life to bring something really nasty to justice -- who are we to keep him from doing so? Certainly more harm is done by legalized "war on terror" crap.

    • by Sez Zero (586611)

      Is getting a search warrant on someone really that time consuming?

      More time consuming than not getting one; I'm sure most people reading Slashdot understand the potential for laziness. I don't think you need to fire the officers that used GPS; I'm sure they were told it was ok by a bunch of lawyers in their respective departments and bureaus.

      That said, I'm happy to see this ruling from the Supreme Court.

      • by rickb928 (945187)

        I'm sure they never ASKED any lawyers. Not that it matters, since the lawyers would usually be prosecutors, and of course they would be inclined to say yes. Especially over a beer, since this is not a conversation to be had officially.

        Now can we get this legal precedent applied to domain seizures? Trolling sites for illegally shared files is alll well and good, but claiming the site operators know what is going on is about as much probable cause as was available in this case. the principle should apply.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Darkness404 (1287218)
        We need more accountability for cops. A cop has the potential to do a lot more harm than a crooked member of congress. Your elected official can't burst into your house with guns drawn. Your neighborhood cop can.

        Preferably, either directly elected cops or an elected board that oversees the police departments. Because in most places the only thing checking your neighborhood cop is.... another cop. Imagine if we had the same thing with politicians with no outside checks.
  • Seriously, this is a good thing. I have no problem if a warrants are involved. They should be, otherwise, law enforcement feels the right to slap one of those devices on anyone's vehicle for any old reason. There is a reason for warrants, it helps keeps things fair and legal. If the bad guys are really showing their hands, then obtaining a warrant for a GPS should be a no brain-er. And until then, law enforcement can do the good old stakeout for a few days until all the legal paperwork is signed and bu

    • by satsuke (263225)

      Honestly, if law enforcement has, and can demonstrate, probable cause, they'll have no problem getting a warrant very quickly.

      I've read of officers getting warrants during the duration of a traffic stop in a couple of rural counties around my location in the middle of the night.

      All that this ruling will do is cut back on "hunches" and make sure an officer can get at least one other person agrees that there is something worth investigating and/or worth tracking.

  • What amazed me was it was a unanimous decision.
  • Your iPhone, smart phone, auto GPSr, or even hand-held GPSr track being used against you.

    Funny how they don't bundle both decisions together, though clearly the attachment of a device to an unwitting suspect's vehicle is a more active role than seizing records your vehicle or device have been recording for you.

    Best be careful about Geocaching near marijauna farms (even if you are unwittingly near one in a state or federal park!)

    • If im around a marijuana farm, law enforcement is the least of my worries. Its the farmers that are the true concern.
      • by Lashat (1041424)

        Even if tagged by law enforcement at this location you would have your Geocaching alibi. Hmm..... Light-Bulb!

    • by blueg3 (192743) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:40PM (#38794987)

      Your GPS receiver can only be used against you if you are arrested and it is confiscated, at which point any history stored in the device may (depending on the warrant) be obtained and admitted as evidence.

      They cannot be used to track you.

  • It's a good ruling (and about damn time on this one), but it could have gone farther. As the minority opinion says, and I agree, what's to stop non-intrusive methods such as future UAV drones from being used without a warrant?

  • So that the SCOTUS will keep feeling the urge to keep the POTUS on a short leash.

  • by sed quid in infernos (1167989) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:11PM (#38794371)

    A brief read of Justice Sotomayer's concurring opinion seems to characterize the differences in the justice's reasoning as follows:

    1.) Scalia, Sotomayer, Roberts, Thomas, and Kennedy formed the majority in the opinion of the court, which relied on the fact that a trespass occured when the physical device was planted on the car. The majority did not look at any issues other than the trespass one because the trespass issue was sufficient to decide the case. Sotomayer describes it his way: "By contrast, the trespassory test applied in the majority’s opinion reflects an irreducible constitutional minimum: When the Government physically invadespersonal property to gather information, a search occurs. The reaffirmation of that principle suffices to decide this case."

    2.) Alito, joined by Breyer, Kagan, and Ginsburg, focused more on the impact of obtaining the knowledge - that is, whether GPS tracking data, regardless of whether it's obtained via physical trespass or some other way, falls within the expectation of privacy protected by the fourth amendment. Alito would hold that trespass is irrelevant to 4th amendment law, and that only the expectation of privacy issue is relevant.

    3.) Sotomayer (who joined the opinion of the Court), thinks that Alito's dismissal of the trespassory test would do harm to the constitutional protections, but emphasizes that, in other cases where no trespass occurs, the Court should also analyze expectation of privacy.

    In sum, we have 5 justices who are willing to apply a trespassory analysis (which means physically attaching a device to a car is subject to the warrant and reasonableness requirements of the 4th amendment), 5 justices who think the expectation of privacy involved in one's movements should provide 4th amendment protection when long-term electronic tracking is used, regardless of whether trespass occurs, and at least 1 who thinks both apply.

    It should be noted that, if I'm reading Sotomayer's concurring opinion correctly, the 4 in the majority other than Sotomayer should not be viewed as having rejected the application of the expectation of privacy test to electronic location tracking. Rather, they've emphasized that the expectation of privacy test is in addition to the trespassory test, and expressly declined to evaluate it because the trespassory test was conclusive.

    A couple of other notes:

    (1) The government did obtain a warrant in this case, but the placed the tracker on the car outside the time and physical location the warrant gave permission for. The Court did not consider the government's argument that the technical violation of the warrant's strictures rendered the search unreasonable, holding that the government waived those arguments. Therefore, we don't have any insight into how strictly the requirements of warrants will be applied.

    (2) The Court did not address this, but it's not hard to imagine scenarios where the Court might allow tracking without a warrant. For example, if an officer witnesses a crime but cannot effect an arrest, the Court might allow an officer to plant a device without a warrant due to exigency, and thereafter apply for a warrant. Similarly, the Court might allow a device to be planted during the course of a high-speed chase without warrant, if the means to do so are invented. I want to emphasize this is total speculation on my part, but fourth amendment law goes far beyond "did a search occur?"

    (3) Although there's no holding yet, there's very good reason to believe that obtaining GPS data from non-trespassory means, such as from OnStar or a cell phone, will also require a warrant.

    • Police officer witnessing a crime means all bets are off when it comes to warrants. I have no problem with this.
    • by mindcandy (1252124) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:30PM (#38794761)
      re (2) : these exist. http://www.starchase.com/ [starchase.com]
    • by icebike (68054) *

      Does your point number 1, above, mean they planted the tracker and only applied for a warrant after they found it yielded incriminating evidence?

  • An important thing to note that this case was obvious to the justices because a tracking device was placed on the suspects private property. This ruling is very limited in time constraints, and methodology. Can they use GPS tracking on things already present on the vehicle? No answer on that yet.
  • A rare moment of sanity from a court known for some otherwise insane rulings (Citizens United / corporate personhood among them).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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'

  • by Lashat (1041424) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:19PM (#38794561)

    I am glad this decision came down from the Supreme Court. I am also glad to find it here already on the news page at /. .

    I am providing a link to the NY Times article on this same subject it is more informative IMHO.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/us/police-use-of-gps-is-ruled-unconstitutional.html [nytimes.com]

    From the NY Times link above by Adam Liptak
    Though the ruling was limited to physical intrusions, the opinions in the case collectively suggested that a majority of the justices are prepared to apply broad Fourth Amendment privacy principles unrelated to such intrusions to an array of modern technologies, including video surveillance in public places, automatic toll collection systems on highways, devices that allow motorists to signal for roadside assistance and records kept by online merchants.

    Further into the article are the juicy bits. I paste them here for you /.ers who are RTFA imparied.
    Justice Sotomayor joined the majority opinion, agreeing that many questions could be left for another day “because the government’s physical instruction on Jones’s jeep supplies a narrower basis for decision.”

    But she seemed to leave little doubt that she would have joined Justice Alito’s analysis had the issue he addressed been the exclusive one presented in the case.

    “Physical intrusion is now unnecessary to many forms of surveillance,” Justice Sotomayor wrote. In the case of G.P.S. devices, she wrote, “I would ask whether people reasonably expect that their movements will be recorded and aggregated in a manner that enables the government to ascertain, more or less at will, their political and religious beliefs, sexual habits, and so on.”

    She went on to suggest that “it may be necessary to reconsider the premise that an individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in information voluntarily disclosed to third parties.”

    “People disclose the phone numbers that they dial or text to their cellular providers; the URLs that they visit and the e-mail addresses with which they correspond to their Internet service providers; and the books, groceries, and medications they purchase to online retailers,” she wrote. “I for one doubt that people would accept without complaint the warrantless disclosure to the government of a list of every Web site they had visited in the last week, or month, or year.”

    Justice Alito listed other “new devices that permit the monitoring of a person’s movements” that fit uneasily with traditional Fourth Amendment privacy analysis.

    “In some locales,” he wrote, “closed-circuit television video monitoring is becoming ubiquitous. On toll roads, automatic toll collection systems create a precise record of the movements of motorists who choose to make use of that convenience. Many motorists purchase cars that are equipped with devices that permit a central station to ascertain the car’s location at any time so that roadside assistance may be provided if needed and the car may be found if it is stolen.

    “Perhaps most significant, cellphones and other wireless devices now permit wireless carriers to track and record the location of users— and as of June 2011, it has been reported, there were more than 322 million wireless devices in use in the United States.”

  • by wealthychef (584778) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:20PM (#38794577)
    .. he wasn't trafficking in pirated movies, or the judge would have been merciless.
  • by necro81 (917438) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:21PM (#38794599) Journal
    While the court did rule 9-0 that the tracking was too extensive and had to be thrown out, the court split 5-4 on the reasoning and scope of the ruling. The majority opinion held that the tracking was invalidated by the fact that police used the defendant's private property (his car), in violation of the 4th amendment. This largely sidesteps the much broader questions about stake: police use of GPS tracking in cellphones, camera networks backed by face/vehicle/license plate recogniztion software, etc. The minority opinion sought to invalidate the tracking on more broad grounds such as the duration (one month), continuous nature, expectation of privacy in the modern age, etc. But, being the minority opinion, it doesn't exactly have the same force behind it. Their opinion, however, is likely to form a blueprint for how these things can get argued going forward. It is certain that these issues will come up again and again in the Court.

    More information and explanation of the ruling can be found at the NYTimes [nytimes.com], wikipedia [wikipedia.org], and the court's opinion text (PDF [supremecourt.gov]).
  • My initial reaction to this is that this is a very good thing.

    But a serious question. Police now cannot track your car via GPS without a warrant. But is there anything preventing police from just following you? Is the location of your car, driving around in public places, reasonably considered private, personal information?

    So what's the objection to GPS tracking, if it is no less invasive than other means of tracking can be? The only thing that seems to separate GPS tracking is its passive nature; that i

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:23PM (#38794633)
    There are two interesting facts about this ruling. First all nine Justices agreed that the use of the GPS without a warrant in this case was unconstitutional. However, 4 of the Justices felt that it might have been Constitutional if done for a shorter period of time. What is interesting about that is that the divide was not along the usual divide. The majority opinion was supported by Scalia (who wrote it), Roberts, Thomas, Kennedy (the "swing" vote) and Sotomayor (generally considered a "liberal" vote). While the minority opinion was written by Alito (generally considered a "conservative" vote) and joined by the rest of the Court's "liberals" (Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      From Volokh: [http://volokh.com/2012/01/23/what-jones-does-not-hold/]

      What Jones Does Not Hold

      Orin Kerr January 23, 2012 12:50 pm

      A lot of the early press reports on United States v. Jones are reporting that the Supreme Court held that the government needs a warrant to install a GPS device. But that’s not correct, actually. The Court merely held that the installation of the GPS was a Fourth Amendment “search.” The Court declined to reach when the installation of the device is reasonable or

      • Yes it did, or at least, that a warrant is required in any circumstance where a warrant would be required to search the vehicle. It is possible that if the police were in a position where they could search your car without a warrant (and use any evidence so discovered in a court of law), they could attach a GPS to your car without a warrant and use the tracking information in a court of law (this is probably more relevant to using already installed GPS devices, such as Onstar, than it is to installing a GPS
  • How feasible would it be to build a 'GPS faker' that could feed false data to such a tracking device? It'd be fun to see what they made of a car that apparently levitated, flew across the Pacific ocean at Mach 3, then returned to its starting point...
  • by glebovitz (202712) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:59PM (#38796215) Journal

    I am not surprised by the ruling and agree with the decision. I imaged the discussion to focus on public versus private information. Police do not need a warrant to "tail" a suspect as they move through public streets. However, they need a warrant to follow the suspect into private property as their entrance would be trespassing.

    It is good to know that the court viewed the attachment of the device to the vehicle as trespassing. While the court did not explicitly say that a warrant is required in all cases, it is clear the the trespassing issue has implications in both long term and short term use of implantable or attachable technology for surveillance.

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