Posted by: maboulette | November 9, 2011

HIGH COURT TROUBLED BY WARRANTLESS GPS TRACKING

The current United States Supreme Court, the h...

By MARK SHERMAN – Associated Press 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court invoked visions of an all-seeing Big Brother and satellites watching us from above. Then things got personal Tuesday when the justices were told police could slap GPS devices on their cars and track their movements, without asking a judge for advance approval.

The occasion for all the talk about intrusive police actions was a hearing in a case about whether the police must get a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects. The outcome could have implications for other high-tech surveillance methods as well.

The justices expressed deep reservations about warrantless GPS tracking. But there also was no clear view about how or whether to regulate police use of the devices.

The justices were taken aback when the lawyer representing the government said police officers could install GPS devices on the justices’ cars and track their movements without a warrant. To get a warrant, investigators need to convince a judge that there is reason to believe a suspect is involved in criminal activity.

“So your answer is yes, you could tomorrow decide that you put a GPS device on every one of our cars, follow us for a month; no problem under the Constitution?” Chief Justice John Roberts said.

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