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E.J.

'The Man' Can Use GPS to Track Your Moves

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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.

That is the bizarre — and scary — rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants — with no need for a search warrant.

It is a dangerous decision — one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.

-Article-

Clip:
... because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway


WTF..? What if I have a fenced in driveway? I'm glad I don't live in the affected areas...

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These "technology can be used by The Man to track you/file you/analyze you" make me yawn, if anything, because governments always did that to suspect individuals, even if through a network of rats, snitches, observers and "concerned citizens".

The driveway bit is interesting, but, quite honestly, a determined govt. agent or policeman with explicit, direct orders to plant bugs and trackers in your house, car and other stuff will probably operate with a fully legal authorization to do so, which overrides your normal rights.

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I hate that the Gov't can now monitor where I am at any moment! Just a second, let me finish my foursquare facebook status update....

Yeah, down with Big Brother!

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oh no not the government

THIS LOOKS LIKE A JOB FOR SENATORS

yes

- - -

Also, this is on topic because it's an accurate representation of how silly I find government and politics.

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Csonicgo said:

I hate that the Gov't can now monitor where I am at any moment! Just a second, let me finish my foursquare facebook status update....

Or... half the smart phones out there? *Puts on tinfoil hat*

:LOL:
What constitutional right will they take away next? Firearms? Freedom of speech?

This 'safety' over 'freedom' approach has long past worn out it's welcome.

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Oh no now the man knows I went to see a movie last weekend! Who knows what other embarassing information they might gather!?

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I don't see the big deal about this. I don't suspect that police and gov't is just going to go around picking on people by planting tracking devices under people's cars. I expect them only to be used when necessary. If someone is actually up to something I think it's fair that police are allowed to use these to locate them. It doesn't really feel any more unjustifiable than house arrest.

Are there any laws against someone finding this device and removing it from their car?

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Like the various US government agencies really care that it's now legal to do this. I'm sure they were sticking trackers to cars(and people) long before GPS showed up.

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Hmm, it would be difficult for the average human being to know if there was a law against doing so. Unless the device comes with a "DO NOT REMOVE" sticker. :P

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Note that they also say other courts have ruled this is just wrong. This will go to the Supreme Court before it is done.

The rich vs. poor argument was interesting. When I was in Johannesburg I noticed even the relatively poor protected their front yards with things like razor wire.

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Your "right" to privacy is just another victim of the War on Terror and it's not as if the United States is the only nominally democratic state trotting out that tired old justification (or some local variant of it - like the IRA's bombing campaign in Britain) while trading personal freedoms for national security.

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It's not just due to the war on terror, which is more of a side-effect here. It's occurring because of the concept of privacy itself. If the state can do this, it's because others in an advantaged position can do it too, like your employer or some other entity or group. That everyone is trying hard to keep their privacy and interests to themselves creates a demand to breach that privacy to gain an advantage. In such a scenario, the powerful prevail, because they can build their own physical or virtual castles, as a dissenting judge quoted in the article notes.

The average Joe's concerns with privacy have more to do with what is personal, while many entities, such as the state or business use a concept of privacy that is largely social, and thus inevitably of public concern. A distinction needs to be made, or else people end up attacking themselves by defending "privacy".

By the way, a right is a legal concept that by principle entitles one to something. It's not a fact, it's a legal instrument, so there's no need to write it in quotation marks.

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