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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Help restore the 4th amendment

From Free
Randolph Holhut in the Windham County Commons reports that U.S. Representative Peter Welch, of Vermont, is cosponsoring a bill which would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before using a person’s GPS information.

Because it’s easier than trailing someone in person and court approval is unnecessary, the FBI now commonly attaches GPS trackers to people’s cars. According to Wired, “The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled last year that using a GPS tracker was no different than physically trailing a suspect in public, and that such surveillance was not protected by the Fourth Amendment, even if agents placed the device on a suspect’s car while it was parked in his driveway.” (A dissenting judge argued that it was “straight out of George Orwell’s novel 1984″.) The devices have been found on the cars of environmental activists and college students.

1 comment:

  1. Although I don't like it, I think fair is fair. They are allowed to follow you around 24/7 if they want. So if the argument is about rights, and they can accomplish the same ends via a different means, then it's not a violation of rights, it's just something messed up that we don't like. This is why I used to agree with the courts' decisions.

    However, someone pointed out that this allows them to track people on private property, which is something they wouldn't be able to do by tailing a person. This is why it is not only something I oppose because I feel it's unnecessary and intrusive, but because it is also a legitimate civil rights issue.