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Ear to the Ground

Top Court Curbs Unwarranted GPS Bugging

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Posted on Jan 23, 2012
Flickr/ MSVG (CC-BY)

Scary to think that the implication behind the Supreme Court’s ruling, which came down on Monday, that police and other law enforcement agents would need a warrant to plant GPS tracking devices on suspects’ vehicles is that this kind of bugging was obviously happening before without that key intermediary step. Score one for the Fourth Amendment.  —KA


Officers will now have to seek permission from a judge before using such devices to monitor suspects.

The ruling could have an impact on the investigation of major crimes such as drug smuggling.

But it will be welcomed by civil liberties campaigners who have warned against unwarranted surveillance.

The Supreme Court considered the issue as part of the case against a suspected drug smuggler who was convicted after his car was tracked by GPS.

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