The Register 
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union are waging a legal challenge against what they say is law enforcement’s growing use of global positioning system location-tracking devices often without first seeking a warrant.
In a friend-of-the-court brief filed Tuesday, EFF attorneys argued that FBI agents should have obtained a court order before secretly planting GPS technology on the vehicle of a drug trafficking suspect. The device allowed agents to know the suspect’s whereabouts 24 hours a day for a full month, was accurate to within 100 feet and yielded more than 3,100 pages worth of data, according to the filing.
Because such devices allow agents to determine a person’s precise location, they can be used to track visits to any residence, therapist or medical facility. Such surveillance should be covered under the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, the brief argues.
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
“Absent a warrant requirement, the police could track unlimited numbers of members of the public for days, weeks, or months at a time, without ever leaving their desks,” the document states.
“No person could be confident that he or she was free from round-the-clock surveillance of his or her movements and associations by a network of satellites constantly feeding data to a remote computer that could at any instant determine with precision his or her current or past movements, and the time and location that the individual crossed paths with other GPS-tracked persons.”
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
The brief was jointly filed by EFF and the American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area.