No Warrantless GPS Surveillance
The good guys won one for a change! A unanimous Supreme Court said no to tracking people without a warrant.
The installation of a GPS tracking device onto a suspect's car constitutes a search — and therefore could require a warrant — the Supreme Court unanimously held on Monday morning. The justices, however, employed radically different rationales to come to their answer, leaving unsettled the question of how much protection one may expect from the Fourth Amendment in the digital age.
The case, United States v. Jones, arose from the Washington, D.C., police department's use of evidence gathered from Antoine Jones' car that tied him to a stash house in Maryland. A trial court convicted Jones and sentenced him to life in prison, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed, finding that the police's gathering of evidence after its warrant for the GPS tracking had expired violated the Fourth Amendment.
it's good to know that there's at least a little substance left to the 4th Amendment!