Feds: We Don't Want a Warrant to Track Your Car With GPS

Illustration for article titled Feds: We Dont Want a Warrant to Track Your Car With GPS

The government is claiming that authorities should be allowed to fasten GPS tracking devices to any vehicle—and then monitor its movements—without any form of warrant.

Wired reports that the Obama administration is maintaining the controversial stance, despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled last year that such a procedure amounted to search protected by the Constitution. An appeal case, to happen later today, will see the administration battle last year's decision.

The main thrust of the argument? That obtaining warrants can hinder the progress of criminal investigations. In fact, court filings even describe how such a process could get in the way of terrorism investigations:

Requiring a warrant and probable cause before officers may attach a GPS device to a vehicle, which is inherently mobile and may no longer be at the location observed when the warrant is obtained, would seriously impede the government's ability to investigate drug trafficking, terrorism, and other crimes. Law enforcement officers could not use GPS devices to gather information to establish probable cause, which is often the most productive use of such devices. Thus, the balancing of law enforcement interests with the minimally intrusive nature of GPS installation and monitoring makes clear that a showing of reasonable suspicion suffices to permit use of a ‘slap-on' device like that used in this case.


A bold claim—and one that, if considered sensible, could change the way authorities are able to track and trail citizens. It'll be interesting to see which way the verdict falls. [Wired]

Image by Tischenko Irina/Shutterstock

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


They warned you about the slippery slope after giving carte blanche powers to the gov't. You failed to take heed because your were so caught up in your war mongering. Chicken coming home to roost. Will be a fun to see a few yanks taken out by drones in the land of the free. Let there be some balance to the universe.