Sunday, July 3, 2011

Should Law Enforcement be Able to Track Vehicles Without a Warrant?

First, cars are not only driven on public roads. Does that mean the law enforcement acknowledges they violate the constitution every time the person pulls on to a private road or private land?

Second, beware of the logic. What is the difference between tracking your car in public without a warrant and tracking your cellphone in public without a warrant? Is there much difference then using your phone to ease drop on you while you are in public? The slippery slope here is especially steep...

Video embedded below.

"The argument that law enforcement needs no warrant to track vehicles on public roads doesn’t make a lot of sense. They can’t search the vehicles themselves without permission, a search warrant, or probable cause (which strongly suggests an emergent situation as opposed to a chronic issue) even if the vehicle is on a public road at the time. Why, then, can police or FBI use tracking devices without the same restrictions, especially for long periods of time?

Drivers might not have a right to privacy in the act of driving on public roads, but that applies mainly in the moment. For instance, if police observe someone smoking a joint or drinking Jack Daniels while driving, they have the jurisdiction to pull the car over and arrest the driver, and few if any would dispute that. That’s a far cry from the government at any level compiling a list of travels and destinations over any period of time, which really does fall into Big Brother territory. If the government has probable cause to collect that kind of information, then law enforcement has enough information to get the search warrant to start collecting that kind of data.

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