Saturday, October 16, 2010

FBI Uses GPS Tracking without a Warrant

A California computer salesman found a strange box magnetically attached to his vehicle during an oil change.  He freed it from his car and posted pictures of it online, hoping for help in identifying the device.  It was a GPS tracking unit.

Two days later, the FBI showed up at his door, demanding their personal property back.  The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the use of GPS tracking without a search warrant.   The dissenting judge wrote in Jeffersonian fashion:

"By holding that this kind of surveillance doesn't impair an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy, the panel hands the government the power to track the movements of every one of us, every day of our lives."

Here's the false choice pushed daily.  You can have freedom or security, what's your pick? 

"The oppressed should rebel, and they will continue to rebel and raise disturbance until their civil rights are fully restored to them and all partial distinctions, exclusions and incapacitations are removed." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Religion, 1776. Papers 1:548

"As revolutionary instruments (when nothing but revolution will cure the evils of the State) [secret societies] are necessary and indispensable, and the right to use them is inalienable by the people." --Thomas Jefferson to William Duane, 1803. FE 8:256