Police and high-tech monitoring

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by C_Clayton_Jones, May 21, 2011.

  1. C_Clayton_Jones
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    C_Clayton_Jones Diamond Member

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    Police and high-tech monitoring

    The next chapter in police use of new technology has begun to unfold in the Court, against the background of a direct conflict among lower courts. At issue is the tracking of suspects by secretly installing a GPS device on their cars.

    What the Court is now being asked to decide is, first, whether a GPS track is a “search,” under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, and when might the continuous monitoring of a track become an invalid search if police do it without having a search warrant. The Supreme Court left that second question open when, in U.S. v. Knotts in 1983, it ruled that police use of an electronic beeper to track a suspect’s trip to a drug lab was not a search. What seems to be newly at issue is the role that the duration of tracking plays in the constitutional equation; the argument is that, the longer the tracking, the more movements are monitored, the greater the potential for invading privacy.

    Police and high-tech monitoring : SCOTUSblog
     
  2. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Do you have any idea what any of this means?
     
  3. TheBrain
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    TheBrain BANNED

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    Come on now, I KNOW you've read some of this dude's posts. You don't have to ask if he understands something. Of course he doesn't , he just likes to bitch about the mean old police.
     
  4. syrenn
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    syrenn BANNED

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    Tough shit for them. They KNOW they are being monitored.
     
  5. Tony Montana
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    Tony Montana Rookie

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    Well while it is a good idea, and I do want to see our streets cleaned up of criminal activity, there's a lot of constitutional questions that go along with this one. Trailing criminals using GPS would reduce searches and bring criminals to justice in a safer manner - it might even save departmental and federal money. HOWEVER if we make the decision to track one person...where does it stop? Who decides who can be tracked and who cannot be tracked? What would be the criteria on that one? Can the feds then use this in conjunction with their activities and will this eventually tread on the rights of good law abiding individuals (maybe innocent suspects, etc).

    I don't see it as a search, but I don't think tracking an individual suing GPS would be constitutional either.

    However I'm really on the rocks about this one because....cell phones do this every day. Who doesn't own a cell phone? Those things are constantly triangulating towers to keep a signal, and they constantly send information back and forth to carriers. In additions many smart phones already have GPS installed and actively working. We're more or less already subjecting ourselves to this for corporate America.

    I'm staying neutral on this one right now. I'm not sure which side of the fence I'd fall on, I have to think about it some more.
     
  6. TheBrain
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    TheBrain BANNED

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    Not to mention most new cars on the market in the last 5 years have GPS . Some of them may not be navigation systems, but somewhere in that car is a GPS device.
     
  7. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    I really want to know what he thinks about this though, because it boggles my mind that anyone like him even knows about SCOTUS Blog.
     
  8. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    What's the difference between a warrantless physical surveillance using cameras and video and using a gadget that tracks the suspect? Less cost to the taxpayer? What's next, the ACLU claiming that physical surveillance is unconstitutional?
     
  9. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    Police like GPS units because it lets them track you anywhere you go. The ACLU dislikes it for the same reason.

    The problem with allowing unwarranted tracking through GPS units is twofold. These devices last for months, and they tell the police where you go and how long you are there. This could lead to them finding out you are having an affair, where you shop and eat, and where you go to get away from everything. This makes them more intrusive than a simple ping tracker that police have to be in range of to track, and only gives a direction.

    Police do not have the resources to mount 24/7 surveillance of suspects in the real world. They have to justify the time and resources used to track one person for any length of time because their job is not to prevent crimes, it is to catch criminals. If police have the power to stick GPS units on any car they want and then come back and look at them months later they will essentially be able to track anyone and everyone for no reason at all.
     
  10. TheBrain
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    I agree with you on this point.

    What they SHOULD have the ability to do is gain temporary access to a suspect's cell phone or car based GPS system in order to track a suspect when they have cause. And THIS they can already do. I am against LEOs using their own tracking equipment to track a suspect. If a suspect doesn't have a GPS system in their car, or a cell phone, tough shit.
     

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