Tag Archive | Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Supreme Court Ruled on GPS Tracking Case, Backs Privacy Rights

By Jess Bravin, Wall Street Journal, What They Know, January 23, 2012

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court ruled Monday [in United States v. Jones] that police must obtain a warrant before attaching a GPS tracker to a suspect’s vehicle, voting unanimously in one of the first major cases to test constitutional privacy rights in the digital age. … The court split 5-4 over the reasoning behind Monday’s decision, with Justice Antonin Scalia writing for the majority that as conceived in the 18th century, the Fourth Amendment’s protection of “persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” would extend to private property such as an automobile. …

For full text of the article, visit Supreme Court Backs Privacy Rights in GPS Case – WSJ.com.

For full text of the Court’s opinion in United States v. Jones, click here.

GPS Surveillance: A Crossroads for the Fourth Amendment

by Daniel Solove, ACS, November 7, 2011

The Supreme Court has long held that there is no expectation of privacy in public for the purposes of the Fourth Amendment. Because the Fourth Amendment turns on the existence of a reasonable expectation of privacy, the Court’s logic means that the Fourth Amendment provides no protection to surveillance in public. In United States v. Jones … FBI agents installed a GPS tracking device on Jones’ car and monitored where he drove for a month without a warrant. …federal circuit courts have reached conflicting conclusions on GPS, and now the Supreme Court will resolve the conflict.

via GPS Surveillance: A Crossroads for the Fourth Amendment | ACS.

Transcript of Supreme Court GPS Tracking Case Made Available

For the transcript of oral arguments for the U.S. Supreme Court Case United States v. Antoine Jones (No. 10-1259), November 8, 2011, click here.

CDT Summary of Supreme Court Case, Does GPS Tracking Require a Warrant?

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Center for Democracy and Technology, November 8, 2011

1) Supreme Court to Decide Whether GPS Tracking Requires Warrant

On November 8, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral argument in the case of United States v. Jones, which raises the question of whether the government can, without a warrant, install a Global Positioning System (“GPS”) tracking device on a person’s motor vehicle to track the vehicle’s movements. If the Court decides that the installation or use of a GPS device to track a person is a “search” or “seizure” under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, then government agents would generally be required to obtain a warrant before using such a device. The Court’s decision could also shed some light on whether other forms of location tracking – such as monitoring the location of a mobile device such as a cellular telephone – trigger the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment. …

For full text of this great summary, visit Supreme Court To Decide Whether GPS Tracking Requires Warrant | Center for Democracy & Technology.

Supreme Court Sees Shades of 1984 in Unchecked GPS Tracking

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by David Kravets, Wired, November 8, 2011

WASHINGTON — A number of Supreme Court justices invoked the specter of Big Brother while hearing arguments Tuesday over whether the police may secretly attach GPS devices on Americans’ cars without getting a probable-cause warrant.While many justices said the concept was unsettling, the high court gave no clear indication on how it will rule in what is arguably one of the biggest Fourth Amendment cases in the computer age. … Justice Stephen Breyer told Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben that, “If you win this case, there is nothing to prevent the police or government from monitoring 24 hours a day every citizen of the United States.” …

For full text of the article, visit Wired.com.

Supreme Court Considers GPS Tracking Case Today

United States v. Jones

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term

10-1259 D.C. Cir. Nov 8, 2011

Issue: (1) Whether the warrantless use of a tracking device on respondent’s vehicle to monitor its movements on public streets violated the Fourth Amendment; and (2) whether the government violated respondent’s Fourth Amendment rights by installing the GPS tracking device on his vehicle without a valid warrant and without his consent.

Plain English Issue: Whether the Constitution allows police to put a tracking device on a car without either a warrant or the owner’s permission; and whether the Constitution is violated when police use the tracking device to keep track of the car’s whereabouts.

For links to SCOTUS coverage of this case, as well as other materials, visit United States v. Jones : SCOTUSblog.

Geolocation Privacy Bills Now Before the US Congress

From Roger Longhorn on the GSDI Listserv, October 11, 2011:

The following bills relating to geolocation privacy are now before US Congress.

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