Feeds

US Supremes: GPS tracking requires warrant

'Stop! In the name of the 4th Amendment...'

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The US Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that police need to request a warrant before attaching GPS tracking devices to suspects’ cars.

“We decide whether the attachment of a Global-Positioning-System (GPS) tracking device to an individual’s vehicle, and subsequent use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements on public streets, constitutes a search or seizure within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment,” the judgment reads. Their decision – after extensive hearings - was, at core, "Yes".

The case reviewed by the Supremes revolved around Antoine Jones, a nightclub owner the police linked with the drug trade, and the decision to follow his car’s movements using a GPS tracking system. The police obtained a court order for the use of such a device, but were a day late in installing it. The data it obtained was then used to link Jones to a house containing $850,000 in cash, 97kg of cocaine, and a kilo of cocaine base.

Despite the unanimous ruling, the court split 5-4 as to the reasons for rejecting the case. Justices Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, and Sotomayor ruled that the case fell on the government’s claim that it had the right to bug someone’s personal property without a court warrant. But the other four judges – Alito, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan – ruled that the case wasn't based around the use of private property, but on the rights of the individual to a reasonable amount of privacy.

"This is an important ruling for all Americans," said Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a statement. "The Supreme Court has unanimously confirmed that the Constitution prevents unbridled police use of new technologies to monitor our movements." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.