Monday, January 23, 2012

Supreme Court Limits Police Use of a GPS Device; Rules Police Must 1st Obtain a Warrant to Use It

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today (January 23, 2012) that police attachment of a GPS device to monitor a suspect's vehicle was a search protected by constitutional privacy rights, according to the Reuters website.

The ruling was a defeat for the Obama administration, which defended the use of global positioning system devices -- without a warrant and without a person's knowledge -- as a legal way to monitor a vehicle on public streets.

The justices unanimously ruled that police must first obtain a warrant to use a GPS device for an extended period of time to covertly follow a suspect.

The American Civil Liberties Union -- and other human rights-oriented organizations -- commended today's Supreme Court ruling, because it support an individual's rights against unreasonable and unlimited searches and seizures of evidence.

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