A step backwards today for law enforcement agencies who like going all “Jason Bourne” on suspects and tracking their movement with GPS as the courts have ruled that tracking suspects with GPS enabled devices without a warrant is a big NO! The reason provided by the courts is essentially that technology has now enabled law enforcement officials to gather a tremendous amount of information without even entering a suspects home or vehicle.
So where did this come from? According to the NYTimes… The case concerned Antoine Jones, who was the owner of a Washington nightclub when the police came to suspect him of being part of a cocaine-selling operation. They placed a tracking device on his Jeep Grand Cherokee without a valid warrant, tracked his movements for a month and used the evidence they gathered to convict him of conspiring to sell cocaine. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Image adapted from this source
“Law enforcement is now on notice,” Mr. Dellinger said, “that almost any use of GPS electronic surveillance of a citizen’s movement will be legally questionable unless a warrant is obtained in advance.”