Friday, August 6, 2010

Court Rejects Warrantless GPS Tracking

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

In United States v. Maynard, FBI agents planted a GPS device on a car while it was on private property and then used it to track the position of the automobile every ten seconds for a full month, all without securing a search warrant. In an amicus brief filed in the case, EFF and the ACLU of the Nation's Capital argued that unsupervised use of such tactics would open the door for police to abuse their power and continuously track anyone's physical location for any reason, without ever having to go to a judge to prove the surveillance is justified.

Click for the story.                                                   
  Picture from:

Most modern cars already have something like this built into them.
Cops don't have to go onto private property to plant them, they're already equipped for tracking.
Fly low and avoid the radar.
I bought a Kia Rio that doesn't even offer the GPS system.  Entry models don't usually spring for the extra cost for the device. 


  1. Score one for the good guys.

  2. Good guys? I guess you think the FBI randomly puts these devices on peoples cars because they have nothing better to do.

  3. I know that city police do and I know that the FBI lied about Daryl Cherney and Judy Bari.

    We do have the right to live our lives without being set up, lied to or illegally tracked. by law enforcement.

    The bad guys usually have nice cars with these built right into them. The police use the ones that come in newer cars to track crimes all the time. Sometimes they even get warrants. Since Bush and Obama, warrants have become somewhat a thing of the past.

    I think that's why Rose said, score one for the good guys.

  4. City Police? Kind of broad don't you think? What city? How about some specifics?

    Bad guys don't "usually have nice cars" as you say. That's kind of a TV stereo type. Some "bad guys drive clunkers, average cars, or salvaged (totaled in a wreck) cars. Smart bad guys drive 5-10 year old mid size sedans (silver grey or green).

    Does this ruling apply only to GPS trackers? You do know that there are non GPS tracking devices that a different legal standard applies to.

    My point is that they, FBI, city cops, or whomever, generally speaking have more than enough to do than to put tracking devices on innocent citizens cars. All this ruling does is add another layer of paperwork. A search warrant or court order for a tracking device is not difficult to obtain just time consuming. Time that could be spent on other investigations.

    Making it easier for criminals to operate is not what I call scoring one for the "good guys". Of course this is just my opinion.

    This ruling may be appealed.

  5. So, I take it you would be pro warrantless survelience?

    If cops have enough time to track everywhere people go, they have time to get a friggin' warrant!

    We live in a Republic for crying out loud, it's not for the cop to decide, that is what we have judges for.

  6. Anon,
    It doesn't add ANOTHER LAYER of paperwork; it confirms that law enforcement officers SHALL have a warrant BEFORE proceeding with tracking suspected criminals. Officers have always had to do this; they just didn't get caught until now.

  7. What do you mean by "warrantless surveillance"? General surveillance or electronic surveillance (wiretaps), they are two very different things.

    Greg you are wrong, but that's not a surprise. To put a non GPS tracker on a car (and be legal)all you have to do is put it on while the car is in a public place, like the street, Safeway, parking lot, and so on. Officers would need a court order to go upon private property to attach the device. Check it out Bozo.

    This ruling does not address non GPS trackers.


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