Saturday, August 7, 2010

Appeals Court Rules Against Secret Police GPS Tracking
A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the police can’t covertly track a suspect’s car using a GPS device for an extended period of time without getting a warrant.

The ruling in the D.C. Court of Appeals overturned the conviction of a suspected cocaine dealer, saying that the use of a secret GPS tracking device on the man’s vehicle for two months violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. The ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a friend of the court brief supporting the challenge.

The government argued that a 1983 Supreme Court case U.S. v. Knotts, which allowed police to put a tracking beacon in a container to follow a driver to a secluded cabin, made it clear that GPS tracking was allowed without a judge’s approval.

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