Cops Don't Need Warrant to Track Cars With GPS
'1984 is here at last,' says dissenting judge
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2010 11:58 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Police can secretly track your movements with a GPS device attached to your car, and come into your driveway in the middle of the night to install it—all without a warrant, a federal court has ruled. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has twice let stand the conviction of Juan Pineda-Moreno, a man suspected of growing marijuana whose movements were tracked on GPS by the police, Time reports. That means that warrantless vehicular surveillance is now the law of the land in the nine western states, including California, under the Ninth Circuit's jurisdiction.

A dissenting judge called the decision Orwellian: "1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it's here at last," Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote. The decision said Pineda-Moreno had no reasonable expectation of privacy in his driveway, as he had not erected a gate or other barrier—logic that favors those rich enough to have such barriers, Kozinski says. The ruling is likely to be contested soon: the District of Columbia Circuit has decided in a separate case that extended GPS tracking is an invasion of privacy that requires a warrant.