Thursday, August 26, 2010

1984 is here (and attached to your bumper)

The loons on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (in whose jurisdiction we irritatingly reside) have ruled that it's perfectly legal for cops to come onto a citizen's private property late at night, attach a tracking device to the peasant's car and then follow that person's every move from the comfort of the local donut shop, all without the benefit of obtaining a warrant signed by a judge:

"Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway — and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements."
Oh, really?  This must mean, then, that law-enforcement vehicles (which are publicly-owned property) parked on a public street (or in a handicapped space at the aforementioned cruller dispensary) are also fair game for the arbitrary installation of covert tracking devices.  

Both sides can play at this silly game, at least until the Supreme Court presumably steps in to set things right.  Do the police in this court's jurisdiction really wish to have to sweep their cars for bugs before getting in every day? 

Because there are plenty of activists who are perfectly willing to make that scenario come true.

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