This just in: the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that attaching a GPS tracking device to a car constitute a search, require a warrant from a neutral magistrate. See the Washington Post for details. It was telling in the oral arguments when justices asked the government attorney whether a GPS device could be attached to their (the Justices’) vehicles without probable cause. I, at least, thought the outcome would be as it was. However, I didn’t expect it to be unanimous. It appears the Justices were just as creeped out by the prospects of being followed 24/7 for weeks or months without some type of judicial oversight.
What’s even more interesting is that Justice Alito, joined interestingly enough by Ginshburg, Breyer and Kagan (didn’t expect that combination did you?), also wanted to go further and rule on the GPS tracking of wireless devices. Clearly the writing is on the wall for that case and I would suspect it won’t ever reach the Supreme Court with lower courts also being able to see where the Justices would rule in that regards. I understand why the majority of the court didn’t rule that way as they generally try to stick to the narrow topic at hand and not rule prospectively.
I’m eager to read the entire opinion, when I can find the time.
Law Enforcement needs a warrant…but privacy citizens do not.