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Southflaguy
05-25-2009, 01:51 PM
Pretty cool idea...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090525/ap_on_re_us/us_gps_police



Police use GPS to track suspects despite murky law

MADISON, Wis. – Investigators were tipped that habitual criminal Bernardo Garcia was back to making and dealing methamphetamine in 2005 but they needed more evidence to nail him.

So they secretly installed a GPS to his borrowed Ford Tempo. The technology showed Garcia often drove to land in northwestern Wisconsin, where investigators found a stash of meth-making equipment.

Garcia, who once bragged he could make meth across from a police station without getting caught, drove to the scene while investigators were there. He was arrested, convicted and sent to prison.

Across the nation, investigators are using GPS to catch drug dealers, burglars, stalkers and other criminals. Police say the devices, which rely on satellites to determine locations, are similar to trailing a suspect with officers but more effective.

"It's been a very good investigative tool," said Craig Klyve of the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, whose agents install GPS on cars up to 75 times a year. "The technology allows you to track and maintain a history of movements of a vehicle over a period of time in a way that your surveillance doesn't get burned and is much less manpower-intensive. It's a way to work smarter."

Privacy advocates and criminal defense lawyers beg to differ. They say the technology goes beyond surveillance and could be used to create a detailed, around-the-clock profile of one's movements. Because the trackers are so affordable, they view them as a privacy threat that could reveal one's political, religious and personal associations to law enforcement.

Courts are now grappling with how to balance privacy rights against an investigative technique hailed by state and local police, the Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI.

"We're seeing more and more cases," said Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation. "The law is struggling to understand the way in which these kinds of sophisticated tracking technologies change the calculus for what is private and what is an overly invasive technique."

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1983 that drivers on public streets do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy and police could place radio "beepers" in cars without warrants. Whether courts will treat GPS differently remains unclear.

Earlier this month, New York's highest court ruled 4-3 that police must obtain search warrants before they can secretly attach devices to vehicles.

But the week before, a Wisconsin appeals court ruled GPS tracking did not involve a search or seizure under the Fourth Amendment so a warrant was unnecessary. The court warned "police are seemingly free to secretly track anyone's public movements with a GPS device" and called for a state law to prevent abuse.

Some state lawmakers responded by drafting a bill that would require police to obtain warrants first.

"I don't want the government to be able to track and monitor people wherever they go," said Rep. Marlin Schneider, a Democrat. "One of our great freedoms in this country is our right to travel and that's undermined if we're under constant surveillance."

The federal appeals court in Chicago in 2007 approved the warrantless GPS tracking of Garcia, now 35.

Judge Richard Posner wrote police had ample reason to suspect Garcia of crimes — but acknowledged the technology could one day be used for massive police surveillance. A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., will rule in a similar case soon involving a drug dealer busted with the help of GPS.

Klyve said his agency does not get a warrant before installing the devices in most cases, when vehicles are parked in public places. He said agents will obtain warrants if installation is done on private property or requires opening a car hood or trunk.

Some devices, such as the one that helped nab Garcia, must be retrieved and have the tracking information downloaded to a computer.

Others allow their whereabouts to be downloaded by cell phone for real-time tracking or send out alerts when entering targeted areas. Klyve said those techniques have allowed police to catch serial burglars and arsonists in the act.

A company called StarChase LLC is even working with the Los Angeles Police Department and others to test technology in which squad cars shoot miniature GPS tags onto passing vehicles. The GPS sends real-time information to headquarters, where dispatchers could send officers to catch suspects and set up roadblocks. The goal would be to reduce the danger associated with chases.

As the technology quickly advances, privacy advocates worry the law is not catching up. Bruce Rosen, a Madison defense lawyer who has represented suspects tracked by GPS, said the public has no idea how police are using the technology if warrants are not required.

"Where no paperwork is being created and people are free to do this, I think it's going to have very bad consequences," he said. "These kinds of activities have to be subject to review, scrutiny and accountability."

But his firm has learned a benefit: the power to prove innocence. The firm represented a man suspected of stalking his ex-wife and beating her. A GPS secretly installed on his vehicle showed he was not at the scene at the time of the alleged beating and the case was dismissed.

"I like the technology because it has the ability to convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent. Other than DNA, I don't know anything that does it quite as well," said David Schumann, a Janesville lawyer who runs a blog on legal issues related to GPS evidence. "And unlike DNA, it will save tons and tons of taxpayer money and police time."

And mishaps occur.

Agents try to surreptitiously install the devices but have been caught by surprised suspects, Klyve said. In one case, a driver got into an accident, found the GPS and threw it into Lake Michigan. In another, a car equipped with the device was crushed.

pulicords
05-25-2009, 02:44 PM
Some state lawmakers responded by drafting a bill that would require police to obtain warrants first.

"I don't want the government to be able to track and monitor people wherever they go," said Rep. Marlin Schneider, a Democrat. "One of our great freedoms in this country is our right to travel and that's undermined if we're under constant surveillance."

Since when has anyone had the right not to be followed by the police, if suspected of criminal activity? Other than the fact this technology is more cost effective than doing a 24/7, "eyes on" surveillance, how does this differ from using multiple UC officers to follow someone? :confused:

jannino
05-25-2009, 02:54 PM
Some state lawmakers responded by drafting a bill that would require police to obtain warrants first.

"I don't want the government to be able to track and monitor people wherever they go," said Rep. Marlin Schneider, a Democrat. "One of our great freedoms in this country is our right to travel and that's undermined if we're under constant surveillance."

Since when has anyone had the right not to be followed by the police, if suspected of criminal activity? Other than the fact this technology is more cost effective than doing a 24/7, "eyes on" surveillance, how does this differ from using multiple UC officers to follow someone? :confused:

Because you're not attaching a piece of monitoring equipment to a person's PERSONAL property.

You can physically watch anyone all day long since they'd be driving on public roadways.

I'm all for police using it... just get a warrant. I don't understand why you wouldn't want to obtain a warrant first. There should be some legal justification for needing to use a GPS.

ISPY4U2
05-25-2009, 05:08 PM
It's kind of a murky, gray area between electronic monitoring devices that require warrants and tailing someone under suspicion which does not. Personally, I plan on slipping one into my son's Jeep as soon as he gets his license. Why?

Call it a lesson learned after the chaos his older sister caused.

That said...wouldn't probable cause be sufficient in this case for a LEO do to this?

RoadKingTrooper
05-25-2009, 05:16 PM
Because you're not attaching a piece of monitoring equipment to a person's PERSONAL property.

You can physically watch anyone all day long since they'd be driving on public roadways.

I'm all for police using it... just get a warrant. I don't understand why you wouldn't want to obtain a warrant first. There should be some legal justification for needing to use a GPS.


Why not a warrant?

1 Time to install it,
2 Opportunity to install it.
3 Warrants require Affidavits which can be viewed at the courthouse by anyone unless sealed. And then even word can get out.

JMHO
RKT

jannino
05-25-2009, 07:35 PM
Why not a warrant?

1 Time to install it,
2 Opportunity to install it.
3 Warrants require Affidavits which can be viewed at the courthouse by anyone unless sealed. And then even word can get out.

JMHO
RKT

Ok, I see your points.

I think most of the units I've seen are magnetic so time wouldn't be an issue.

Yea, you may pass up a perfect opportunity but there will be more. If it's that urgent you can resort to plain ol' surveillance.

I don't know how a wiretap warrant works, but why can't it fall under that same scope? Can they be viewed?

How about putting them under guidelines that require probable cause or a warrant?

Allowing the government to place a tracking device on my vehicle with no legal reason doesn't sit well with me. Yes, I know the intended use is for people suspected of crimes, but where are the rules/laws stating that?

ISPY4U2
05-25-2009, 08:21 PM
Allowing the government to place a tracking device on my vehicle with no legal reason doesn't sit well with me. Yes, I know the intended use is for people suspected of crimes, but where are the rules/laws stating that?

While I would also be more comfortable if there was a warrant, I don't think lack of a warrant makes it "no legal reason." The officer could suspect a crime and thus have probable cause, making a warrant unnecessary. Most of them are too busy and too professional to do it without probable cause and a good reason to suspect you're doing something wrong.

But I look at it this way (upon thinking it over): What INFORMATION are they going to gain that is DIFFERENT than the info they'd gain if they were following me? None. The info is EXACTLY the same -- it's just acquired differently. Most people would never know if the cops were following them, and might actually have a BETTER chance finding a GPS tracking placed in their car. Plus, for $40, you can buy the stuff at Radio Shack to effectively jam a GPS signal on your car, rendering that method useless.

So to me, no biggy.

RoadKingTrooper
05-25-2009, 08:39 PM
Cops have been using technology to track suspects for years. From dripping oil cans to an ice pick in a tailight.

You are on surveillance and Mr Big shows up. Having waited days or weeks for his arrival, you finally get him identified and learn he is picking up a rental car and leaving for the meet. A warrant could take a couple hours... by then he'll be in the wind. Surveillance assets are thin and stretched to the limit. Should you let him go or slap a radio transmitter on his ride.

What if it was a kidnapper?

The problem with expanding existing procedures to make a feel good atmosphere when there is no requirement for a warrant leaves you cutting your throat when you don't need to.

Had a Police Chief require a CI take a urine test before and after every buy he made. WHY? The guy can buy dope because he is a DOPER. Nuns and Priests rarely come to Narcs offering to make buys.

If there is no requirement for one why on earth would you apply for a warrant?

jannino
05-25-2009, 09:07 PM
If there is no requirement for one why on earth would you apply for a warrant?

I'm stating there should be SOME legal requirement. Either it be probable cause or a warrant.

Just not a fan of government being able to plant tracking devices without legal cause. Call me paranoid but I just think of what it could turn into if unchecked.

ISPY4U2
05-25-2009, 09:20 PM
I'm stating there should be SOME legal requirement. Either it be probable cause or a warrant.

Just not a fan of government being able to plant tracking devices without legal cause. Call me paranoid but I just think of what it could turn into if unchecked.

Wouldn't there already have to be probable cause?

jannino
05-25-2009, 09:23 PM
Wouldn't there already have to be probable cause?

Not unless there are laws stating probable cause must exist. It must also define probable cause in regard to GPS tracking.

I don't know of any case law regarding it either.

As of now, I'd assume its use is only governed my department policy... which is not law.

RoadKingTrooper
05-25-2009, 09:32 PM
The answer is not so much probable cause as much as "expectation of privacy" That is what any court would look to!

Does a motorist have an expectation of privacy in a private conveyance on a public road?

First he or she drives a vehicle registered by the state on a roadway maintained by the state in full view of anyone who happens to glance his way, Cops included.

Second, the fuel he uses is taxed by the state, records are kept by law of what lodging he uses. Other records (credit card receipts ect) are maintained by third parties of food he consumes,

So the expectation of privacy while traveling is far less than what is given to his conveyance, which is less than afforded him in his home and personal effects.

pulicords
05-25-2009, 09:33 PM
Because you're not attaching a piece of monitoring equipment to a person's PERSONAL property.

You can physically watch anyone all day long since they'd be driving on public roadways.

I'm all for police using it... just get a warrant. I don't understand why you wouldn't want to obtain a warrant first. There should be some legal justification for needing to use a GPS.

they secretly installed a GPS to his borrowed Ford Tempo. The technology showed Garcia often drove to land in northwestern Wisconsin, where investigators found a stash of meth-making equipment.

1) The vehicle wasn't his, it was "borrowed."
2) Was there a "search" of the vehicle? (No. Something was merely placed on it, not unlike placing advertisements on the wiperblades or having the license plates placed on the car-as required by state law.)
3) Was there a "seizure"? (No. Nothing was seized from the subject of the surveillance. He was free to go wherever and whenever he wished.)
4) If there is neither a search or seizure involved, does the court then have jurisdiction to regulate whether or not the police have the right to follow person(s) without sufficient probable cause or even reasonable suspicion to justify their actions? How much evidence is needed to even conduct an investigation, based upon this new standard? :confused:

jannino
05-25-2009, 09:48 PM
they secretly installed a GPS to his borrowed Ford Tempo. The technology showed Garcia often drove to land in northwestern Wisconsin, where investigators found a stash of meth-making equipment.

1) The vehicle wasn't his, it was "borrowed."
2) Was there a "search" of the vehicle? (No. Something was merely placed on it, not unlike placing advertisements on the wiperblades or having the license plates placed on the car-as required by state law.)
3) Was there a "seizure"? (No. Nothing was seized from the subject of the surveillance. He was free to go wherever and whenever he wished.)
4) If there is neither a search or seizure involved, does the court then have jurisdiction to regulate whether or not the police have the right to follow person(s) without sufficient probable cause or even reasonable suspicion to justify their actions? How much evidence is needed to even conduct an investigation, based upon this new standard? :confused:

I was referring to law enforcement using GPS to track people in general....not the specific incident quoted in the thread.

With that same logic, why not do away with legal justification for using wiretaps? There is no search or seizure there either.

Not having laws governing placing tracking devices on vehicles leaves it wide open for misuse.

So police can just put GPS tracking devices on whoever they want? Yes, I'm sure the department wouldn't allow it, but there's no laws in place to protect citizens from misuse.

If reasonable suspicion is all that you think is needed, that's fine by me. Let there be a law stating that.

RoadKingTrooper
05-25-2009, 09:54 PM
I was referring to law enforcement using GPS to track people in general....not the specific incident quoted in the thread.

With that same logic, why not do away with legal justification for using wiretaps? There is no search or seizure there either.

Not having laws governing placing tracking devices on vehicles leaves it wide open for misuse.

So police can just put GPS tracking devices on whoever they want? Yes, I'm sure the department wouldn't allow it, but there's no laws in place to protect citizens from misuse.

If reasonable suspicion is all that you think is needed, that's fine by me. Let there be a law stating that.

I guess I don't understand your position:confused:

GPS is just the latest technology. Why would the Cops put it on someone they weren't investigating for a crime?

If you have a cellphone, it can be tracked without your knowledge, and not by just the Cops

Is your fear one borne by George Orwell's Big Brother form 1984?

Camarocks
05-25-2009, 10:46 PM
I am all for being able to do this with a warrant, but giving the police power to install a GPS device on a citizen's car without a court order is an encroachment of private property (whether they install it on a public road or in your driveway). I think our country's founders would have a bit of a problem if the government decided it had the power to electronically monitor citizens without due process. Again, I support law enforcement's authority to procure a warrant from a judge to install a tracking device, but this is a slippery slope when no judicial oversight is involved.

ISPY4U2
05-25-2009, 11:48 PM
The answer is not so much probable cause as much as "expectation of privacy" That is what any court would look to!

Does a motorist have an expectation of privacy in a private conveyance on a public road?

First he or she drives a vehicle registered by the state on a roadway maintained by the state in full view of anyone who happens to glance his way, Cops included.

Second, the fuel he uses is taxed by the state, records are kept by law of what lodging he uses. Other records (credit card receipts ect) are maintained by third parties of food he consumes,

So the expectation of privacy while traveling is far less than what is given to his conveyance, which is less than afforded him in his home and personal effects.

To play devil's advocate, the house I live in was inspected and certified by the state. I pay taxes on it to the state. It sits just yards off a public road in plain sight of anyone, cops included, and utilizes utilities either provided by or regulated by the state. Should we therefore allow surveillance of my home and installation of surveillance equipment in or on it without a warrant or at least probable cause?

I think both sides have good points here. In most places, in the car itself is considered private property, which is why a warrant or probable cause is required to search it without permission of the driver. The installation of a GPS tracking device could be considered similar. I hadn't thought of that earlier.

I guess it's something that will have to be addressed by both sides. I suspect a solution will be found, but for now, for those who are worried about it, carry a GPS jammer in your car. Of course, that's a federal offense....

RoadKingTrooper
05-26-2009, 12:14 AM
Well ISPY, I don't do "devils advocate" Thought with your background you would be well aware of just what information is garnered on a daily basis and what is available.

And Camarocks, I stay off "slippery slopes" LOL you're really worried about a device that major auto manufacturers install on vehicles routinely? LOL


I think our country's founders would have a bit of a problem if the government decided it had the power to electronically monitor citizens without due process.

Should have taken Polysci instead of retail sales

madchiken
05-26-2009, 12:17 AM
I am all for being able to do this with a warrant, but giving the police power to install a GPS device on a citizen's car without a court order is an encroachment of private property (whether they install it on a public road or in your driveway). I think our country's founders would have a bit of a problem if the government decided it had the power to electronically monitor citizens without due process. Again, I support law enforcement's authority to procure a warrant from a judge to install a tracking device, but this is a slippery slope when no judicial oversight is involved.

Its actually less invasive and more cost effective than the multiple LEOs that would be involved in a moving surveillance, including helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

ISPY4U2
05-26-2009, 12:24 AM
Well ISPY, I don't do "devils advocate" Thought with your background you would be well aware of just what information is garnered on a daily basis and what is available.

I have a LOT more restrictions on what I can and cannot collect than those of you on the LE side of the equation. If I even get a whiff of something US-related, that info gets scrapped. :)

I understand the public roadways point and like I said earlier, there really isn't that much more info, if any, gathered via GPS than without it. But is it really possible to conduct that kind of surveillance on someone -- multiple LEOs, air support, vehicles, etc -- without at least probable cause? I suspect you usually have it for that kind of stuff, required or not.


LOL you're really worried about a device that major auto manufacturers install on vehicles routinely? LOL

That is THE major reason I will never buy GM. I will not allow a GPS tracking device in my automobile without me having the ability to completely disable it. IMHO, OnStar and things like it are too easy to corrupt for the wrong reasons.

itnstalln
05-26-2009, 01:02 AM
The answer is not so much probable cause as much as "expectation of privacy" That is what any court would look to!

Does a motorist have an expectation of privacy in a private conveyance on a public road?

First he or she drives a vehicle registered by the state on a roadway maintained by the state in full view of anyone who happens to glance his way, Cops included.

Second, the fuel he uses is taxed by the state, records are kept by law of what lodging he uses. Other records (credit card receipts ect) are maintained by third parties of food he consumes,

So the expectation of privacy while traveling is far less than what is given to his conveyance, which is less than afforded him in his home and personal effects.

Given this logic it would be acceptable for say... a news agency to track LEO cars while on duty and on the public roads? (given it's passive tracking meaning no interference)

RoadKingTrooper
05-26-2009, 01:08 AM
Given this logic it would be acceptable for say... a news agency to track LEO cars while on duty and on the public roads? (given it's passive tracking meaning no interference)

Duhhh that has been going on for years:rolleyes:

What's your point to your moronic analogy:confused:

OrlandoExp103
05-26-2009, 02:47 AM
If you have a cellphone, it can be tracked without your knowledge, and not by just the Cops


As far as cell phones go, they will only release tracking information to the police if you sign forms saying you either received a 911 call from their number and have exigent circumstances and have reason to believe a life is in danger OR you sign a form saying you have exigent circumstances, a life is in danger, AND promise to provide a court order for the information within 48 hours.

So even though there isn't much law concerning it, they kinda privately limit it to probably cause or reasonable exigent circumstances.

Further, you know you have a cell phone that has that capability, or drive a car with OnStar, and use or drive it willingly. You wouldn't know if this GPS piece was placed on your car.

Spudee
05-26-2009, 02:55 AM
I work in electronic surveillance for a State crime commission here in Australia. We use vehicle trackers, along with listening devices, in vehicles all the time. These are always covertly installed under a State Supreme Court warrant and to my knowledge, this has never been challenged. Trackers are a great resource; they save the use of physical surveiilance much of the time and even when we are using surveillance, they are a good back-up should a target become 'lost'. We just 'ping' the vehicle and steer the 'dogs' (surveillance teams) back onto whoever we are interested in. But there is inherent danger in the installation of any type of covert audio/video/tracking device. Just last year in New Zealand, a couple of cops were sprung installing listening devices/trackers to vehicles belonging to OMCG members. Both were shot, one fatally.

djblank87
05-26-2009, 04:55 AM
Given this logic it would be acceptable for say... a news agency to track LEO cars while on duty and on the public roads? (given it's passive tracking meaning no interference)


Duhhh that has been going on for years:rolleyes:

What's your point to your moronic analogy:confused:

+1 RKT

itnstallin, are you saying they (Media) are not doing that now?

itnstalln
05-26-2009, 08:29 AM
+1 RKT

itnstallin, are you saying they (Media) are not doing that now?

I don't mean following them around, I meant they would use the same technology. Are they currently tracking LE vehicles with GPS and other electronic means besides the radio scanners? If so that would be news to me.

djblank87
05-26-2009, 09:25 AM
I don't mean following them around, I meant they would use the same technology. Are they currently tracking LE vehicles with GPS and other electronic means besides the radio scanners? If so that would be news to me.

Understood. I was thinking along the lines of a scanner myself. I doubt they are placing GPS devices on Patrol Vehicles.

ISPY4U2
05-26-2009, 09:34 AM
I would think patrol cars would already have GPS devices if for no other reason than officer safety....

ICEAGENT
05-26-2009, 10:10 AM
But I look at it this way (upon thinking it over): What INFORMATION are they going to gain that is DIFFERENT than the info they'd gain if they were following me? None. The info is EXACTLY the same -- it's just acquired differently.

This is really the issue. In any search/seizure issue, the first question is whether there is an expectation of privacy in the area being searched or the information being sought. A person does not have the expectation of privacy in where they drive on public streets. Police have been doing physical surveillance of suspects in vehicles for a long time without a warrant, probable cause or reasonable suspicion. The only reason this is coming to the forefront now is because GPS units make it easier and cheaper to accomplish the same result as physical surveillance.

I also believe that this controversy will be short-lived, as with any new law enforcement technique, now that it is being widely reported in the media and disclosed for court cases. Criminals will start to check their vehicles for GPS units, making them unlikely to be useful. We see this now with cell phones, where criminals dump their phones frequently and use prepaids to avoid wiretaps and pings.

Nobody
05-26-2009, 10:54 AM
[QUOTE=ISPY4U2;1826052]I have a LOT more restrictions on what I can and cannot collect than those of you on the LE side of the equation. If I even get a whiff of something US-related, that info gets scrapped. :)

Ic

jannino
05-26-2009, 10:59 AM
I guess I don't understand your position:confused:

GPS is just the latest technology. Why would the Cops put it on someone they weren't investigating for a crime?

If you have a cellphone, it can be tracked without your knowledge, and not by just the Cops

Is your fear one borne by George Orwell's Big Brother form 1984?

My position is this... I'm all for any tool that helps law enforcement do their job more effectively and safely. If GPS fits thats bill, I'm for it. I'm also for a simple federal law that limits the use and hands out severe punishment for people and agencies that misuse it.

I'm just not comfortable having the only regulation regarding their use be a department policy....


The answer is not so much probable cause as much as "expectation of privacy" That is what any court would look to!

Does a motorist have an expectation of privacy in a private conveyance on a public road?

First he or she drives a vehicle registered by the state on a roadway maintained by the state in full view of anyone who happens to glance his way, Cops included.

Second, the fuel he uses is taxed by the state, records are kept by law of what lodging he uses. Other records (credit card receipts ect) are maintained by third parties of food he consumes,

So the expectation of privacy while traveling is far less than what is given to his conveyance, which is less than afforded him in his home and personal effects.



Yes, I do have an expectation. It's my understanding the only exception to this would be if you're considered a "public figure".

Follow me around for a day or two and I will guarantee that you end up in jail.

Also in regards to your roadway analogy, a local police department kept hanging around a club and they set up a roadblock two nights in a row.... the club sued in federal court... the judge issued an injunction preventing the police department from doing it anymore.... the whole case took less than 3 months.

jannino
05-26-2009, 11:16 AM
why should we need PC to get PC - the whole point of tracking/surveillance, is to get enough PC to make an arrest

Glad you said that. Wiretaps would work the same way... don't they help you develop MORE PC to make an arrest? So you want to buy all these expensive trackers just to develop PC? Please give an example, if you can.


There aren't enough trackers, or manpower, to follow all the legit targets - so fears that LEO's will just randomly install these devices is just stupid - each device costs money, the subscription to the tracking services costs money... even at the federal level, there are only a few available for hundreds of agents.

If you are installing the device 'in' the car, you do need a search warrant - so there is your judicial review. If you are placing it on the exterior, on public property, you have a right to be there - so you have a right to install it.

You don't really think that do you? The vehicle is still privately owned no matter where it's at.

Next time you're out running errands, I'll just sit on the hood of your car and eat a cheeseburger. It is only the exterior and I'll make sure you're on public property.


I can tell few of the above have actually done physical surveillance for any distance, for any amount of time, or on targets that know how to throw it off - at a minimum you need an air unit ($$$) and say 7-10 cars, and if it's a really high profile target (read: important you don't lose them) you need a backup air unit - for when the primary runs out of fuel - and more cars. And even with all of that, you would not imagine the chaos of reckless driving necessary for the cars that aren't on the "eye" to keep up with the surveillance. For public safety alone, you'd rather have the bad guy trackered-up instead of having your loved ones anywhere near a rolling surveillance.

In reference to your first couple lines, you mean to tell me you wouldn't already have probable cause, or at the very least reasonable suspicion, to be following someone that important?

There you go calling people chicken little's when it seems you like to go on wild goose chases :confused:


But alas, i'm sure that once again LE will lose a good tool because of all the 'chicken little's' out there.

I bet you felt that way too when they made you get a warrant for a wiretap too?


Read my post before this one. I'm not against them... I just don't want you using them when you feel like it.

ICEAGENT
05-26-2009, 11:24 AM
Yes, I do have an expectation. It's my understanding the only exception to this would be if you're considered a "public figure".


Public figure has nothing to do with it. Although you may have an expectation of privacy in where you go on public roadways, your expectation would not be reasonable. The key is whether a reasonable person would expect that the information sought would be kept private. Any person who happens to see you driving will know where you are going, so it is not reasonable to expect that the police would not find out where you go.

To explain further regarding expectation of privacy, you do have a reasonable expectation of privacy when talking on the telephone, that someone is not eavesdropping. Police therefore cannot get a wiretap without a court order based on probable cause. However, if you are talking on the phone loudly in a public place, you cannot claim a reasonable expectation of privacy from passersby. So the police could legally stand close enough to listen and use whatever you say against you.

Essentially, you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the things that you do in public view.

jannino
05-26-2009, 11:49 AM
Public figure has nothing to do with it. Although you may have an expectation of privacy in where you go on public roadways, your expectation would not be reasonable. The key is whether a reasonable person would expect that the information sought would be kept private. Any person who happens to see you driving will know where you are going, so it is not reasonable to expect that the police would not find out where you go.

To explain further regarding expectation of privacy, you do have a reasonable expectation of privacy when talking on the telephone, that someone is not eavesdropping. Police therefore cannot get a wiretap without a court order based on probable cause. However, if you are talking on the phone loudly in a public place, you cannot claim a reasonable expectation of privacy from passersby. So the police could legally stand close enough to listen and use whatever you say against you.

Essentially, you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the things that you do in public view.

It seems our government is feeling more and more this way.

Camarocks
05-26-2009, 12:17 PM
RoadKingTrooper, please note that I stated I have no problem with a GPS device being affixed to a person's vehicle if a warrant is obtained, the same way I am fine with bugging rooms and tapping phones with judicial approval. Are you saying that you would be fine if I went to your house, put a GPS device on your car and your wife's car and tracked everywhere you drove because I wanted to know where you were going? I understand that many car manufacturers install GPS units from the factory these days. Credit card companies can tell everything you have ever bought on your card, but that doesn't mean that your local law enforcement agency can dig into your personal records before establishing PC or preferably obtaining a warrant from a judge.

As far as my academic background, I triple majored in criminology, Spanish, and political science and am currently working on my MBA. I kept working for the company I was with in college because I got married, moved to a new city and bought a house within several months of graduation. I wanted to "settle in" as I finished up my enlistment in the Marine Corps Reserve and got my marriage off to a good start before heading off to the academy (which will be this August).

I really don't see how my current temporary occupation in retail should prevent me from pointing out that a warrants should be obtained before you install a wiretap, bug a house or fix a tracking device onto somebody's private property. I'm all for it if a judge grants a warrant.

RoadKingTrooper
05-26-2009, 12:48 PM
And herein lies the problem...................

Discussing police tactics and procedures with citizens who

1) Don't know the law!
2) Believe the Cops are daily violating their rights.
3) Desire Judicial review on procedures that require none

Keep in mind please that the "targets" of these protracted investigations are usually not you or your neighbor.

These types of investigations are focused on the criminal element that poses a risk to YOUR safety and way of life.
Cops have much better ways to spend their time than "spy" on you.

The equipment and procedures used are not new, nor randomly used to see what YOU are doing. They are used on the criminal element. The fourth amendment issues have been addressed long ago.


And to those who think that the current practices should be changed so you may feel "good"




I don't care!:)

Nobody
05-26-2009, 12:54 PM
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Camarocks
05-26-2009, 01:02 PM
Do you also believe that only sworn law enforcement officers should try suspects in court, review the laws and interpret the Constitution? Your job is to enforce laws that another branch of the government drafts and interprets. I don't think you realize that we are on the same side here. We both want to see society protected from criminals, but that doesn't mean that public servants should have the right to install tracking devices on an individual's private property without a warrant. You have general orders and standard operating procedures for the same reason that free societies have separation of powers, laws and due process.

Nobody
05-26-2009, 01:30 PM
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Camarocks
05-26-2009, 02:01 PM
As somebody who argues for public fiscal conservatism, I agree that it is in everybody's best interest to fight crime as economically and efficiently as possible. So why not go to a judge, establish your PC and obtain a warrant? Throw the magnet on their car and catch the criminal.

I suppose my point is that I am sure that even most law enforcement officers on this board would probably have a problem if a federal agent put a magnet on your car while it was parked on public property so they could track your every move? Even if they only saw me drive to church, then to volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and then to a soup kitchen, nobody has the right to track where I go if I am not breaking the law. If you suspect I am, then get a warrant and then I get caught.

If a person you suspect may be committing a series of crimes is walking in a public place like a mall, would you support surreptiously placing a tiny GPS magnet on his shoe without a warrant with the justification that officers, cruisers or air support could follow him anywhere he goes in public either way? It's the same principle.

Technology offers an excellent new frontier with which to catch the scum of the earth, but we can't abuse it either unless you would have no problem with either yourself or a member of your family being "by-catch" in the net.

phillyrube
05-26-2009, 02:26 PM
This has already hit the courts, but in a different arena:

http://www.jud.state.ct.us/external/supapp/Cases/AROcr/CR273/273CR53.pdf

Rental car companies can track your car and then assign penalties for speeding.

ICEAGENT
05-26-2009, 02:37 PM
As somebody who argues for public fiscal conservatism, I agree that it is in everybody's best interest to fight crime as economically and efficiently as possible. So why not go to a judge, establish your PC and obtain a warrant?

The simple answer is because we don't have to. There is no statute prohibiting the use of a GPS unit on a vehicle parked in a public place, and to date there has been no court ruling (except in NY) stating that such use violates the Constitution. For there to be a Constitutional violation, there must be an invasion into a reasonable expectation of privacy. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in travel upon public roads in full view of the public.



I suppose my point is that I am sure that even most law enforcement officers on this board would probably have a problem if a federal agent put a magnet on your car while it was parked on public property so they could track your every move?


Of course I would have a problem with it. However, as I see it, my only legal recourse is to take the thing off and throw it in the garbage.



Even if they only saw me drive to church, then to volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and then to a soup kitchen, nobody has the right to track where I go if I am not breaking the law. If you suspect I am, then get a warrant and then I get caught.


It's not a question of someone else having the right to track where you go. It's whether you have a right to privacy regarding where you go. To date, until the Supreme Court says otherwise, you don't have the right to that privacy. And remember, travel upon public roadways is something you show to the public anyway. The police can follow you and get the same information that they get from the GPS, so how is it different?



If a person you suspect may be committing a series of crimes is walking in a public place like a mall, would you support surreptiously placing a tiny GPS magnet on his shoe without a warrant with the justification that officers, cruisers or air support could follow him anywhere he goes in public either way? It's the same principle.


I am not sure if placing a GPS unit on a person's shoe is legally the same as placing one on a vehicle. If someone else knows the law on that I would be interested.

However, I would point out that a GPS attached to a person's body would enable the tracker to track where a person goes INSIDE A PRIVATE RESIDENCE, which may then tread into an invasion of a person's privacy rights. You do have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your movements inside your own house.

Nobody
05-26-2009, 05:04 PM
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Ceridwen
05-26-2009, 05:39 PM
Potentially stalking. There have been convictions based on private citizens tracking people with GPS devices on their cars.

Would it be acceptable for an anti-government group to conceal GPS devices on police cruisers?

There is no expectation of privacy in a public place such as a road, however I think there is or should be some protections on what may or may not be affixed to your personal property without your knowledge.

ICEAGENT
05-26-2009, 06:01 PM
Would it be acceptable for an anti-government group to conceal GPS devices on police cruisers?

Acceptable? Not to me. But seemingly legal.



There is no expectation of privacy in a public place such as a road, however I think there is or should be some protections on what may or may not be affixed to your personal property without your knowledge.

I think this is really the best argument against the use of GPS units by police, namely the physical intrusion of having an unknown object affixed to your vehicle. But is it really an intrusion, a hindrance in any way? What is the negative effect of having an object placed on your vehicle that you don't even know about? Especially when, if you notice it, you have every right to remove it?

itnstalln
05-26-2009, 06:58 PM
then what are you scared of exactly?

I can assign 7-20 cars, and a helo or fixed wing, and risk general public safety to follow you around for 2 weeks (big $$$$) without judicial review


So someone could follow you home from work and park on the public street and just watch your home just because they wanted to and if that is all they did was watch you... this would be legal? (and ultra creepy, IMO)

Nobody
05-27-2009, 09:23 AM
So someone could follow you home from work and park on the public street and just watch your home just because they wanted to and if that is all they did was watch you... this would be legal? (and ultra creepy, IMO)

c

Camarocks
05-27-2009, 01:32 PM
It's no doubt an interesting frontier in the field of law enforcement and if used correctly is a great way to fight crime. It definitely seems likely that this will be brought up in higher courts at some level in the future. I'm glad we can have a civil discussion about the "grays" of law enforcement.

A couple interesting developments of GPS technology are as follows:

1.) Oregon proposed a "mileage tax" that would replace a gasoline tax and could use GPS technology to transmit your mileage to the BMV to determine the tax you would pay on the miles you drove. Of course this defeats the purpose of driving a Prius rather than a Hummer if you are trying to save money (arguably one of the reasons that people are buying more fuel efficient vehicles in the face of rising energy prices).

2.) Onboard Diagnoistic 2 (OBD2) is the vehicle self-diagnostic system that is mandated on all vehicles made or sold in the United States from 1996 to the present. It's what is responsible for turning on your "Check Engine" or "Service Engine Soon" light on your dashboard. This occurs when the OBD computer detects that emissions thresholds are exceeded by 150%. There is an OBD3 system in the works that many state governments want to tie in with GPS technology that will transmit the status of your Malfunction Indicator Lamp (your "Check Engine" light) to a state DMV, requiring you to bring your car in for service so that your vehicle is emissions compliant. Obviously, if you maintain your vehicle, the argument is made that the government should not require a GPS device in your vehicle to transmit data from your private property. It would be like having the Department of Energy mandate that your HVAC system in your home have a filter efficiency monitor installed so some bureaucracy would know when your furnace or air conditioner is running below an acceptable efficiency. The OBD3 rollout is caught up in the courts right now and appears dead in the water as well as the Oregon bill (at least to use GPS and not a visual inspection of vehicle mileage at an annual state inspection).

These two examples are admittedly different from the original topic of this thread, but they are important for citizens to pay attention to. By the way, I have a GPS navigation system in two of my vehicles, so I am not some tinfoil hat-wearing skeptic.

RoadKingTrooper
05-27-2009, 01:38 PM
It's no doubt an interesting frontier in the field of law enforcement and if used correctly is a great way to fight crime. It definitely seems likely that this will be brought up in higher courts at some level in the future. I'm glad we can have a civil discussion about the "grays" of law enforcement.


Court rules that sly GPS tracking isn't unlawful

by Darren Murph, posted Feb 4th 2007 at 6:40PM
It's one thing to offload (illegally) a dozen or so GPS units from a storage facility and beg the police to nab you by leaving them turned on, but for the boys in blue to slide a tracking device into your ride to keep dibs on your doings, well that's another matter entirely. Earlier this month, the Seventh Circuit of the US Court of Appeals "ruled against a defendant who claimed that the surreptitious placement of a GPS tracking device amounted to an unconstitutional search," essentially giving the coppers the green light to add a GPS module to a suspicious ride sans a warrant. While we're sure the privacy advocates out there are screaming bloody murder, the district judge found that they had had a "reasonable suspicion that the defendant was engaged in criminal activity," and it seems that a well-placed hunch is all they need for lawful placement. Interestingly, the government argues that no warrant was needed since "there was no search or seizure within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment," but did add that "wholesale surveillance of the entire population" was to be viewed differently. So while this may come as a shock to some folks out there, it's not like your vehicles have been entirely devoid of data capturing devices up until now anyway, so here's fair warning to be on your best behavior when rolling about.

What the Cops have been trying to tell you is that the "Gray" area you keep thinking a warrant is required for Has been and probably will keep being addressed.

Camarocks
05-27-2009, 02:21 PM
What the Cops have been trying to tell you is that the "Gray" area you keep thinking a warrant is required for Has been and probably will keep being addressed.

That's precisely what I said; that this should be a topic of interest for law enforcement officers and those interested in the discipline because it will show up again in the courts just like the dynamics of vehicle stops and frisks of passengers has (which I agree with the officer being able to frisk anybody in the vehicle if he or she has an inkling of PC or RS to suspect that the officer could be in danger). I never said that a warrant is required, although there is a strong argument that it should be, just as there are strong arguments going the other way.

Ceridwen
05-28-2009, 03:21 PM
I think this is really the best argument against the use of GPS units by police, namely the physical intrusion of having an unknown object affixed to your vehicle. But is it really an intrusion, a hindrance in any way? What is the negative effect of having an object placed on your vehicle that you don't even know about? Especially when, if you notice it, you have every right to remove it?

I'm not sure. When the laws were written this type of scenario couldn't have been predicted. This is kind of a stretch but affixing a device to a vehicle increases the load of the vehicle which decreases the fuel efficiency. A sly lawyer might research to see if there is any case history for surreptiously transporting property, ie has there been any case law on someone hiding property in a vehicle / trailer in order to receive free transportation of said property? Or even is there any case law on the legality of a skateboarder grabbing hold of a passing car to receive free accelleration (ala Back to the Future.)

It may be very negligble considering the GPS device probably weighs in the level of ounces but theoretically affixing it to a vehicle would cause the vehicle to use more fuel.

An unknown GPS device may interfere with the GPS device installed on the vehicle for the vehicle's navigation system, perhaps causing poor or unreliable performance of the vehicle's navigation system.

Nobody
05-28-2009, 05:23 PM
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