Supreme Court Bans Warrantless GPS Tracking
Obama administration had argued that tracking cars didn't constitute a search
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jan 23, 2012 10:39 AM CST
The US Supreme Court is seen in this October 1, 2010 file photo in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that the government must obtain a warrant before secretly affixing a GPS tracking device to a suspect's car. The case stemmed from an incident in which the FBI placed a tracker on a DC drug dealer's car, with the Obama administration arguing that Americans don't have a right to privacy while moving in public, Wired explains. The administration told the justices that it could track their cars as well if it wanted.

That didn't hold water with the court. "We hold that the government's installation of a GPS device on a target’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a 'search,'" and hence violated Fourth Amendment protections, Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion. The government had been leaning heavily on a 1983 case in which the high court had ruled that the government could legally use a "bird dog" beeper to track suspects.

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Showing 3 of 29 comments
britalkelly
Sep 3, 2012 2:36 PM CDT
Everybody should aware of their country constitution law. Constitution law helps us to know about our fundamental right, how to live, behaves to others in the society. constitution.laws.com/5th-amendment , constitution.laws.com/4th-amendment
fractal
Jan 24, 2012 1:42 PM CST
I have heard that when they want to put a tracker on your car, they may "steal" it, only to have the police "find" it a few days later. A previous dealer of mine had that happen to him.
InferiorToYou
Jan 24, 2012 8:58 AM CST
This Egyptian-American student found one on his car. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41876956/ns/us_news-security/t/student-files-lawsuit-over-fbis-gps-tracking/#.Tx7GJ099M54 I heard him on DemocracyNow discussing the case a while back. He says that when they finally talked to him, after about 5 minutes they realized he was not a person they were interested in. This, after spending countless hours and dollars tracking his every move.