Monday, October 4, 2010

US District 9 and Searches

Recently, the 9th District Court of Appeals ruled that it was legal for cops to place GPS units onto a vehicle parked in your driveway without the need for a warrant.

Basically, this made warrant-less GPS tracking of your vehicle legal for the whole of the 9th District (and you thought those pesky Liberals like civil liberty). I mean, this is a ruling which made Judge Koziniki state (in his dissenting comments):
The needs of law enforcement, to which my colleagues seem inclined to refuse nothing, are quickly making personal privacy a distant memory. 1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it’s here at last.

Fairly accurate summation, and logical reaction to this.

Of course, we didn't have to wait to long before these things started showing up in the wild, and  we now have someone on REDDIT who has found one of these devices on their (or actually their friend's) car.

With pictures.

To the right there is a picture of the actual device which someone took from their car.

The device is a Guardian ST820, a GPS tracking unit made by a company called Cobham. Additionally, it's sales is restricted to army and law enforcement agencies.

Which sadly are not that different in this day and age.

Regardless, this is a device, whose sole purpose is to track the movements of citizens.  And in the 9th District, it is perfectly legal for the government to place it on your vehicle without your knowledge.

For the record, this was found under the car, near the exhaust pipe. The image to the left there is the magnet pack which allows this thing to stay connected to your vehicle. 

I kind of fear that a check for this travesty of privacy and Constitutional law needs to become part of my standard pre-drive inspections.

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