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1 Curt  Thu, Aug 16, 2012 3:27:14am
“When criminals use modern technological devices to carry out criminal acts and to reduce the possibility of detection, they can hardly complain when the police take advantage of the inherent characteristics of those very devices to catch them,” wrote Judge John Rogers in the majority opinion that will affect future cases in a huge chunk of the country.

Ok, so can law enforcement now just stick GPS trackers on your vehicle if they suspect you, or for any reason, like maybe some political pay back? The automobile is a modern technological device....a court said no to this "search" before, even when police claimed the technology was unobtrusive....and a GPS tracker, even if it doesn't transmit, just records location for later reconstruction, is a modern bit of technology.

The danger is the precedent of "if a criminal used it" being set. Once that horse is out running free, stand by for a major push to be able to just have LE get their hands on your electronic communications, because, after all, criminals use those methods to coordinate their plans...

No warrant means any one entity can decide, with no need for any legal requirement for even an internal review/approval, that you can be surveilled by any means possible that is modern technology related. So, stand by for personal grudges, political attacks, and just plain stupid results to occur as a result, all with LE looking about giving you the shrug..."hey, the court said we could use it against you..."

2 CuriousLurker  Thu, Aug 16, 2012 4:42:01am

From the article:

Here's the crux, as it may relate to everyone else: "There is no Fourth Amendment violation because Skinner did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the data given off by his voluntarily procured pay-as-you-go cellphone." That's what Judge Rogers stated in the in the majority opinion, where he cited the Stored Communications Act. The law hamstrings the Fourth Amendment in relation to wire and electronic communications — noting that the use of third-party providers diminishes a person's expectation of privacy.

From Wikipedia:

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the people's right "to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures…." However, when applied to information stored online, the Fourth Amendment's protections are potentially far weaker. In part, this is because the Fourth Amendment defines the "right to be secure" in spatial terms that do not directly apply to the "reasonable expectation of privacy" in an online context. In addition, society has not reached clear consensus over expectations of privacy in terms of more modern (and developing, future) forms of recorded and/or transmitted information.

Furthermore, users generally entrust the security of online information to a third party, an ISP. In many cases, Fourth Amendment doctrine has held that, in so doing, users relinquish any expectation of privacy. The "third party doctrine" holds "…that knowingly revealing information to a third party relinquishes Fourth Amendment protection in that information. While a search warrant and probable cause are required to search one’s home, under the third party doctrine only a subpoena and prior notice (a much lower hurdle than probable cause) are needed to compel an ISP to disclose the contents of an email or of files stored on a server.

Good luck challenging that in a post-9/11 world where we've already voluntarily relinquished much of our privacy. Slippery slope is slippery.


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