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Privacy The Courts Your Rights Online

Drones, Dogs and the Future of Privacy 106

An anonymous reader writes "Stanford's Ryan Calo has previously told us that 'that there is very little in American privacy law that would prohibit drone surveillance within our borders.' But will UAVs not only be legally permitted to monitor us in public, but also be used to 'peer' into homes with high-tech thermal and chemical sensors and alert police to the presence of illicit substances or other suspicious activity? Calo writes in Wired about a pending Supreme Court case, Florida v. Jardines, which will determine 'whether the police need a warrant before a dog can sniff your house' like they already do to luggage at airports. According to Calo, if the Court approves of these searches, it's a small leap to extend that same logic to the use of drones, allowing them 'to roam a neighborhood in search of invisible infractions such as indoor marijuana.' He concludes: 'The wrong decision in Jardines makes this and similar surveillance scenarios uncomfortably plausible.'"
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Drones, Dogs and the Future of Privacy

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  • by Curunir_wolf ( 588405 ) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @12:25PM (#39318253) Homepage Journal

    Complete horseshit.

    Not at all. Your own personal desire for privacy on your property does not make law, regardless of how outraged you may be at the situation. I'll simply point to a few cases such as CALIFORNIA v. CIRAOLO [findlaw.com] which held it legal for police to fly an airplane over someone's yard to get a look above the privacy fences, and the similar case FLORIDA v. RILEY [findlaw.com] which held that a helicopter fly-over that allowed observation through the openings in a green house did not require a warrant. Perhaps the most instructive case would be US v. DUNN [4lawnotes.com], which sets extremely narrow definition of "curtilage" of a home - the area where you may have an expectation of privacy. This is a US Supreme Court decision, so note that it applies to your state, too. In Dunn, even a perimeter fence and another interior fence were crossed by DEA agents, and the SCOTUS held that this intrusion was perfectly reasonable, and the owner had no reasonable expectation of privacy in those areas.

    They can knock on the door if they have official business but they may not walk up to my door in order to conduct any kind of search or surveillance without cause

    That is entirely the opposite of the findings of the SCOTUS. The 8th Circuit court stated it this way:

    Whether a police officer has commenced a “search” turns not on his subjective intent to conduct a search and seizure, but rather whether he has in fact invaded an area which the defendant harbors a reasonable expectation of privacy (US v REED).

    Your porch or approach to the front door is pretty much NEVER considered a private area, and it doesn't matter at all WHY an officer is there. He can be there for any reason or none at all. So your legal theory is not one that is accepted by the courts.

    They have NO presumed right or "invitation" to come onto my property at any time, regardless of the presence of any drive or walkway, or even "open house" signs on the front lawn. NONE. It simply doesn't exist.

    Sorry, but the courts don't care. Police and LEO are allowed to enter these areas at any time and for any purpose, the entire point being that you do not have any "expectation of privacy" in those areas. Your theory here that they require some "presumed right" to enter those areas is simply not recognized by any court or law enforcement anywhere in the entire country. I'm sorry to be the one to break this to you - it seems you're going to be really upset about it.

    At least you found out now, instead of when you tried to actually assert this idea in court or with the police.

Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. -- F.M. Hubbard