The US Supreme Court struck down a power grab by the Obama Administration, ruling the government cannot secretly conduct open-ended surveillance on the movements of individuals through GPS tracking without a search warrant.
The Obama Administration had argued that the government had absolute power to install such devices and track the movements of all suspects without warrants. Exactly how broad the GPS surveillance ruling goes, however, is split between a majority and minority decision.
The majority decision only said that the installation of a device for long-term surveillance required a warrant, but declined to rule on the surveillance itself. But minority of the justices, led by Samuel Alito, went further, arguing that long-term surveillance was itself a de facto “search” and also required a warrant.
The question of random GPS surveillance without planting devices could be an increasingly important one since such features are becoming ubiquitous in personal electronics like cell phones. The Supreme Court majority’s ruling leaves open the question of whether the Obama Administration can simply track an American’s movements using existing GPS devices in that person’s possession. With a minority of four justices already against this, the administration will likely seek to avoid such a challenge.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Taliban Captures 150 Afghan Soldiers Who Tried to Flee the Country - March 17th, 2019
- Saudi Crown Prince Launched Covert Campaign Against Dissent Before Khashoggi Murder - March 17th, 2019
- Pentagon Uses China to Justify Huge Budget Increase - March 17th, 2019
- South Korea May Hold Talks With North to Ease Tensions With US - March 17th, 2019
- UN Security Council Faults South Korea Over Unreported Oil Shipment to North Korea - March 17th, 2019