Will the U.S. Supreme Court rule in favor of warrant-less, unlimited G.P.S. tracking?
How will the Supreme Court balance society’s reasonable expectation of privacy against law enforcements right to use warrant-less, unlimited, GPS tracking?
With multiple references to the novel 1984, a majority of the justices seemed uncomfortable with the federal government’s defense of law enforcement’s warrantless use of a GPS tracking device on a suspected drug dealer’s car over a four-week period. But the justices also struggled to find a legal way to regulate that type of surveillance.”
The government argued:
- Reasonable suspicion is sufficient to allow police to use warrant-less G.P.S. tracking
- Other constitutional principals are available if the Court believes there is an excessive chill from universal monitory (referring to the First Amendment & Equal Protection Clause)
- There is no reasonable expectation of privacy for movements of a suspect’s car on a public highway
- The Supreme Court already decided in Knotts v. the United States there was no reasonable expectation of privacy from visual or beeper surveillance of a car traveling on a public highway
Leckar said, “Society does not view as reasonable the concept that the United States Government has the right to take a device that enables them to engage in pervasive, limitless, cost-free surveillance, that completely replaces the human equation.”
C’mon now, isn’t this totally Orwellian?
In my humble opinion, the Supremes should either require the Government to prove the existence of “probable cause;” or to significantly restrict the period of time the Government is permitted to use G.P.S. tracking of a suspect based upon a “reasonable suspicion.” At the conclusion of this very short period of time, the Government would have to establish the existence of probable cause.
Katz v. United States-summary
U.S. v. Jones-article and resources from the “Electronic Frontier Foundation”