By on September 28, 2011

A powerful group of political figures issued a report last week condemning law enforcement’s unchecked use of high-tech surveillance system. The Constitution Project is troubled in particular by the ease with which a person’s movements can be tracked 24 hours a day. The conservative-leaning group insisted on the need to bring the law back in line with fundamental constitutional principles.

“Private sector technologies that enable constant monitoring of individuals are moving inexorably forward, and as they are developed, law enforcement agencies inevitably seek to use these new surveillance tools,” the report stated. “These include not only GPS devices and cell phones, but also laptop and notebook computers, location based services like OnStar, and technologies yet to be developed. Use of these surveillance devices presents serious challenges in terms of compliance with Fourth Amendment protections. While these technologies enhance the ability of law enforcement agents to accomplish their important work, it is also critical that we carry forward Fourth Amendment safeguards into the Digital Age.”
The statement was put together by a committee that included David Keene, current president of the National Rifle Association; former FBI Director William S. Sessions; Asa Hutchinson, former Republican congressman from Arkansas and former undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security; Mickey Edwards, former Republican congressman from Oklahoma; and former US Court of Appeals Judge Patricia Wald.

The issue of vehicle tracking will heat up in November as the US Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the case US v. Jones, which will likely settle the existing disagreement among appellate courts over the legality of secretly attaching GPS devices to automobiles without a warrant. The Constitution Project is urging Congress to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to ban the use of such tracking without judicial oversight, regardless of how the high court rules.

“GPS technology has made pervasive and continuous location tracking possible in a way that was never before feasible relying solely on human law enforcement officers,” the report argued. “When such tracking is conducted, vast quantities of data are collected, automatically stored in a searchable digital database, and analyzed for patterns of behavior that can reveal a great amount of very personal and private information. These technologies convert traditional ‘tailing’ of a suspect into a new and different type of surveillance, paired with new and powerful digital analytic tools, that alters our analysis of expectations of privacy in a public place. Such tools may be a valuable aid to law enforcement when following a particular suspect. But their use is also a search that should require a warrant based upon a showing of probable cause.”

A copy of the report is available in a 120k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File Statement on Location Tracking (The Constitution Project, 9/21/2011)

[Courtesy: Thenewspaper.com]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

One Comment on “Constitutional Rights Group Challenges Warrantless GPS Tracking...”


  • avatar
    mikedt

    Glad to see at least one conservative group doesn’t fall into the “if you’re not doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear” camp. Up till now I’ve been amazed that the party that thinks government is good for nothing is the one most willing to hand over everything except their guns to the government in the name of security.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Scoutdude: You don’t want to use that wrap stuff on your calipers, it says it is for wheels and accessories and...
  • Scoutdude: Back when we used to turn rotors instead of replace them it wasn’t uncommon to find “Jesus...
  • Peter Gazis: FreedMike The Pilot has more space. Becky wins!
  • Scoutdude: There are some premium calipers out there that are powder coated in the OE color if that was they way the...
  • Jeff Semenak: I bought a 2001 Olds Bravada used, in 2004. The most left Button under the Stereo was unmarked and, the...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber