Government Can Secretly Place GPS Tracker On Your Vehicle

GPS satellite, image courtesy of NASA.

GPS satellite, image courtesy of NASA.

How long before it’s compulsory to have a tracking device on your car? Adam Cohen reports for TIME/Yahoo News:

Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn’t violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway – and no reasonable expectation that the government isn’t tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre – and scary – rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants – with no need for a search warrant.

It is a dangerous decision – one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.

This case began in 2007, when Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents decided to monitor Juan Pineda-Moreno, an Oregon resident who they suspected was growing marijuana. They snuck onto his property in the middle of the night and found his Jeep in his driveway, a few feet from his trailer home. Then they attached a GPS tracking device to the vehicle’s underside.

After Pineda-Moreno challenged the DEA’s actions, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled in January that it was all perfectly legal. More disturbingly, a larger group of judges on the circuit, who were subsequently asked to reconsider the ruling, decided this month to let it stand. (Pineda-Moreno has pleaded guilty conditionally to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana while appealing the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained with the help of GPS.)

In fact, the government violated Pineda-Moreno’s privacy rights in two different ways. For starters…

[continues at TIME/Yahoo News]

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  • emperorreagan

    The courts might as well rule that the government is out to get us all and rob us blind.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I also have the ability (if not necessarily the right) to take such a device off of my car and put it on my neighbor's car or attach it to some out of state motorist.

    Maybe mail it to some random person in Alaska…

    Additionally, by their logic it would seem that I have the right to surreptitiously install such a tracking device on police cars and other govt vehicles.

    • myth_slayer

      According to a news article several weeks back, hundreds of retired federal agents (as in FBI, DEA, etc.) were scammed out of their life savings.

      Therefore, prior to relocating that GPS tracker, first attempt to scam him or her out of any and all savings.

  • Your Mom

    Funny to me how with one breath Disinfo's like, “the gub'mint has too much power, yo! they're violating your civil rights!”

    Then with the other breath, Disinfo's like, “dig this, dawg: things are messed up fo real, but don't worry: the gub'mint can fix it!”

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

      One more time. Maybe it will sink in.

      The disparity you sense in articles here…comes from the fact that they're loaded by different users, with different opinions and different interests. they aren't published by disinfo…they aren't generally original material…they're links to articles from all over that may or may not be interesting to some people.

      I know…for a neo con stooge its hard to imagine such staggering freedom and diversity…because in Neo-Con Fantasy camp the world marches in lockstep and everyone polishes their jackboots at the same time of morning each day…but out here, among the relatively free and among those who welcome opinions from different people and places, such things are commonplace.

      Like I've tried to say before, not out of hostility, but out of a genuine desire to see you grasp a comparatively simple concept and stop embarrassing yourself quite so badly, you need to understand that this is a user based sited. Users, many of them, load whatever they feel will make an interesting topic or whatever they think needs greater coverage than standard media will provide. There is no uniform stance or litmus test for opinion here.

      Which is why the people who come here…come here. If you need a site that restricts access to only those opinions that pass the neo con litmus test…I'm sure there are plenty of Digg Patriots who can reference places for you to hang out.

      I say this because at this point you aren't even looking very good as a troll…which is really hitting rock bottom. If you're trolling, looking this ignorant isn't 'win'…it's fail…with bells on.

      • emperorreagan

        Even if it were all Disinfo posted content, all that it would demonstrate is having a more nuanced view of government than either extreme “all government actions are good” or “all government actions are bad” position.

        • Andrew

          I'm sure he'd be in favor of government action if it restricted Hispanics or women or gays in some way.

      • myth_slayer

        Seriously, why would anyone respond to Your Mofo (or Mom)?

        Obviously, this may not even be a real person, as the US Chamber of Commerce, which runs those various callout centers which call talk shows and contact various web sites, now frequently use bots with natural language interfaces, so Your Mofo could either be a typical paid douchebag, or not even human (sorry, either way….its not human).

        • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

          Given the past history of colorful, if desperately inadequate, statements…I'm inclined to guess that there is in fact a form of intelligence on the other side of these little confrontations…

          …but I'm with you on the paid op part…I've long suspected that such a wide array of pat answers and somewhat researched neo-con diatribes can only be the mark of a disinformation op…which is gloriously ironic at this site.

    • Andrew

      Funny to me how with one breath Your Mom's like, “Disinfo has a monolithic leftist bias! They're all a bunch of Marxists!”

      Then with the other breath, Your Mom's like, “Disinfo's contradicting itself all the time! They don't have a clear point of view!”

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Given the past history of colorful, if desperately inadequate, statements…I’m inclined to guess that there is in fact a form of intelligence on the other side of these little confrontations…

    …but I’m with you on the paid op part…I’ve long suspected that such a wide array of pat answers and somewhat researched neo-con diatribes can only be the mark of a disinformation op…which is gloriously ironic at this site.