Obama Administration-His Change Is Expanded Warrantless Tracking and Surveillance
Dude, a mini bar is a vending machine. Not at all the same thing!
I listened as the Obama administration told the nine justices that it has the unfettered right to perform such surveillance, for however long it wants, on however many people it wants, without any judicial oversight whatsoever. That includes slapping trackers on the rides of the Supreme Court justices, the feds said. It’s an alarming concept in an age where GPS devices are the size of a credit card, and cost less than $200 — and like all computer devices, they will only get smaller, cheaper and more powerful.
But there I was, listening to the argument and fretting that my gutting of the mini-bar in my D.C. hotel might contribute to the court’s ultimate decision against privacy.
That sobering fear is by no means farfetched. Here’s why:
I went BYOB, pulling out the hotel mini-bar’s sodas, junk beer and snacks — setting it aside for later return, and replacing it with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Later on, I saw the sign inside the fridge that said, “For your convenience, any product removed from the MiniBar is automatically charged to your account.”
Unbeknownst to me, my mini-bar fridge uses infrared technology to automatically charge preposterous prices for sub-par beer, baby shots of liquor and chilled Pringles. As it turns out, that’s a generally accepted charging method employed by many hotels.
I informed the front desk of my switcheroo, asking to remove any blasphemous charges that may have occurred. The clerk told me that, indeed, the fridge was spying on me, and that the hotel would confirm my story at checkout.