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FBI disables 3,000 GPS devices following Supreme Court ruling

Posted at 27 February 2012 19:16 CEST by etdragon

Last month the US Supreme Court ruled that GPS tracking of suspect’s vehicles could not happen without a warrant. This month the FBI has disabled a large number of GPS tracking devices in response to that ruling.

Back at the end of January the Supreme Court ruled that in order for the FBI to use a GPS tracking device on a suspect they must obtain a warrant. That ruling was unanimous and declared that Fourth Amendment protection of “persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” would be directly violated if GPS tracking without a warrant was allowed.

In response, Andrew Weissmann, general counsel for the FBI, announced that about 3,000 GPS tracking devices were to be disabled. A recent Wall Street Journal report quoted Weissmann as saying the ruling prompted a “sea of change” at the Justice Department.

Weissmann indicated that the FBI was having a bit of trouble retrieving some of the devices that had already been planted on suspect vehicles. In those situations the FBI sought court orders to allow them to turn on the tracking devices briefly so that they could be located and removed.

Weissmann also stated that the FBI was developing new guidelines about how and when to use GPS tracking devices as well as guidelines to cover the broader implications of this court ruling.

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There are 10 comments

UTR
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 27 Feb 12 21:04
    This is proof that anyone that thinks the US government never oversteps its constitutional authority is dead wrong. This means that the FBI, at a minimum, had 3,000 people under illegal surveillance. I wonder how many more are included under state and local law enforcement agencies.
    Mr. Belvedere
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 27 Feb 12 22:43
      Not that i am a big supporter of the FBI, but maybe they did not know they were doing something wrong, until it was pointed out by this case.
      paulw2
      MyCE Senior Member
      Posted on: 28 Feb 12 04:32
        I wonder if they really have stopped monitoring and it's not just spin??
        olyteddy
        Senior Moderator
        Posted on: 28 Feb 12 05:37
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by paulw2
          I wonder if they really have stopped monitoring and it's not just spin??
          Someone should follow them around and see....
          StormJumper
          Retired Moderator
          Posted on: 28 Feb 12 10:47
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by paulw2
            I wonder if they really have stopped monitoring and it's not just spin??
            Yes they have however just because the GPS are turned off and they now have tougher guidelines to follow doesn't mean those suspects are not still being watched, they are still under surveillance by agents until proper warrants can be obtained.

            SJ
            Nemesys
            MyCE Resident
            Posted on: 28 Feb 12 14:07
              Quote:
              Originally Posted by olyteddy
              Someone should follow them around and see....
              If noticed, you could be arrested for interfering with a law enforcement officer.
              coolcolors
              MyCE Resident
              Posted on: 28 Feb 12 15:49
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Nemesys
                If noticed, you could be arrested for interfering with a law enforcement officer.
                Actually that isn't interfering with them if you follow them around and audit them to see if they are following the law they so call they follow. That's what the press should be doing following the FBI and verifying they are following the law and not making the law up as they follow you. Now if you went onto a crime scene that is interfering with law enforcement work and if you block criminal apprehension of a known criminal that is interfering with law enforcement but not when you hold them to account for breaking the very law they claim to be following. As noted all those 3,000 or so GPS didn't have a warrant and so any prior or later events that come of it will be in jeopardy in courts as they will lead to reasonable doubt as they were the suspect "Entrapped" by the FBI with their fishing expeditions. That where they will have a hard time convincing the courts they didn't know but already knew but failed to follow the very law they claim to uphold. This reeks of a double edge sword and very close to double jeopardy which will results in mistrials and the US tax payers footing the bills for those mistakes....for years to come...The US tax payers will be the ultimate be punished for the misdeeds of the FBI stupidity and lame excuses for years to come from those court battles.....That is the ultimate looser in this case...

                One may not think it but ask yourself when the US looses in courts whom pays surely not the plaintiff right....
                StormJumper
                Retired Moderator
                Posted on: 28 Feb 12 16:37
                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by coolcolors
                  Actually that isn't interfering with them if you follow them around and audit them to see if they are following the law they so call they follow. That's what the press should be doing following the FBI and verifying they are following the law and not making the law up as they follow you. Now if you went onto a crime scene that is interfering with law enforcement work and if you block criminal apprehension of a known criminal that is interfering with law enforcement but not when you hold them to account for breaking the very law they claim to be following. As noted all those 3,000 or so GPS didn't have a warrant and so any prior or later events that come of it will be in jeopardy in courts as they will lead to reasonable doubt as they were the suspect "Entrapped" by the FBI with their fishing expeditions. That where they will have a hard time convincing the courts they didn't know but already knew but failed to follow the very law they claim to uphold. This reeks of a double edge sword and very close to double jeopardy which will results in mistrials and the US tax payers footing the bills for those mistakes....for years to come...The US tax payers will be the ultimate be punished for the misdeeds of the FBI stupidity and lame excuses for years to come from those court battles.....That is the ultimate looser in this case...

                  One may not think it but ask yourself when the US looses in courts whom pays surely not the plaintiff right....
                  Following law enforcement especially federal agents as you suggest is in fact considered as interfering with any such task force and you can and most likely will be detain with charges against you.

                  SJ
                  coolcolors
                  MyCE Resident
                  Posted on: 28 Feb 12 16:41
                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by StormJumper
                    Following law enforcement especially federal agents as you suggest is in fact considered as interfering with any such task force and you can and most likely will be detain with charges against you.

                    SJ
                    Well then the press should be arrested if that is the case right??? Also the US constitution as alot of people talk about does protect one from undue search and seizures without a warrant of which the 3,000 or so GPS followed people had their rights violate whether they are scumbags or not....so that basically means the FBI no longer has immunity from prosecution for violations of the very law they are suppose to protect.
                    StormJumper
                    Retired Moderator
                    Posted on: 28 Feb 12 17:39
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by coolcolors
                      Well then the press should be arrested if that is the case right??? Also the US constitution as alot of people talk about does protect one from undue search and seizures without a warrant of which the 3,000 or so GPS followed people had their rights violate whether they are scumbags or not....so that basically means the FBI no longer has immunity from prosecution for violations of the very law they are suppose to protect.
                      If and when the press are involved in any surveillance activities are working along side of the task force, as far as the use of GPS without a warrant falling under the category of "undue search and seizures" it was just added into law recently so any prior use GPS before the addition to the law by the DOJ on this matter was not illegal at the time, however now that it has been adopted into law they will or are enforcing the new judgment set by the DOJ.


                      SJ

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