And, Search Warrants Win!

January 23rd, 2012 Posted in Privacy and Technology

By Kirsten Bokenkamp
Senior Communications Strategist

The protection of civil liberties had a day in court today when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the government cannot use GPS trackers to track suspects without first obtaining a warrant.  The Court held that the government violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects us from unreasonable searches, when it placed a GPS device to a vehicle and tracked its owner’s movements continuously for a month.  This case is especially significant because it is the first time the Court has had to consider the constitutionality of location-tracking technology, and this decision could influence the law on cell phone tracking.

Also worth noting…during the last legislative session in Texas, the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee tried to incorporate the exact practice now ruled unconstitutional by the Court into one version of its “homeland security” omnibus bill.  Texas lawmakers sure were wise not to pass that bill.  Of course, we were always against this practice to begin with, but we sure are happy that – on this issue – Texas law follows the Constitution!

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