Is Big Brother watching you?


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Sergeant Bob
May 13, 2003, 07:42 AM
Monday, May 12, 2003

Court will decide if police need warrant for GPS 'tracking'

By KATHY GEORGE
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

William Bradley Jackson worried that he hadn't properly concealed his victim's shallow grave. So he snuck away one quiet fall day to finish the job, unaware that sheriff's deputies had secretly attached a satellite tracking device to his truck.
Police trickery triumphed over his treachery.

Spokane County sheriff's investigators used the hidden device to retrace Jackson's path to the gravesite, where they found crucial evidence that would lead to his murder conviction in 2000.

But what if the same secret technology, called global positioning satellite tracking, could track anyone at any time?

The Washington Supreme Court will decide soon whether police agencies throughout the state may use the device freely -- without a warrant. The Jackson case is the first in the state dealing with the issue.

Here's the rest of the story (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/121572_gps12.html)

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CZ-75
May 13, 2003, 01:35 PM
I sure as heck hope they need to get a warrant.

Don Gwinn
May 13, 2003, 01:43 PM
I agree. But I don't know enough about this subject. Do they need a warrant to follow him in his car? Surveil his movements?

If not, it would be easy to argue that the GPS is simply an improved method which should be considered the same concept.

CZ-75
May 13, 2003, 02:06 PM
They should have to get permission any time they touch your property. I don't see how this is much different from planting recording devices, for which they need a warrant.

Surveillance is one thing, but making it so that your property is being used against you seems another. If they believe they have enough on you to warrant such an intrusion, then surely they can take it before a magistrate and get a warrant. Only exception would be if they believe someone's life is in immediate danger and such tracking is necessary to prevent that person's death (i.e., kidnapping).

Sergeant Bob
May 13, 2003, 05:24 PM
Sort of like a "Digital Angel" for your car. If it's determined they don't need a warrent, maybe they could just put them on everybody's car. Then they could "follow" us all around, 24/7. Work up a computer program to monitor the system, record speeding violations and such, then just mail out tickets to the offenders. Just like red light cameras. Think of all the man hours it would save and all the revenue it would generate!
It's already in the works to mandate GPS's for commercial vehicles, why not take the next step and put them on POV's?

The All Seeing Eye is watching you.:uhoh:

CZ-75
May 13, 2003, 08:33 PM
Euros have these digital nannies for commercial vehicles already, and previously had chart recorders for speeding violations, etc. GPS is far easier and more efficient.

The thing is, you could already be tailing yourself if you have OnStar. I'm sure some alphabet agency will attempt to get this done by the back door method, such as asking OnStar to give them location data on you.

Hkmp5sd
May 13, 2003, 08:35 PM
If Big Brother is watching me, they must be really hard up for something to do. It's so boring around here, I wouldn't watch me.

agricola
May 13, 2003, 08:39 PM
cz-75,

and previously had chart recorders for speeding violations, etc

these were only ever fitted to heavy goods vehicles and are called tachographs. they were fitted not to enforce speed limits but rather to ensure that restrictions on "working time" for drivers were enforced. they are still in use btw.

WilderBill
May 13, 2003, 09:09 PM
I too, would hope that a warrent is required.

It has me thinking that as much as I work on/play with my various vehicles, I would find the thing in a day or two.
How much fun would it be to put it on something else?

A garbage truck.
A city bus.
A stray dog.

A cop car!:evil:

dustind
May 14, 2003, 12:50 AM
That conviction should be thrown out. They have no right to tamper with other people property. :fire:

sanchezero
May 14, 2003, 05:37 AM
How many of you use the automated toll systems with the unit on your windshield?

:uhoh:

mjydrafter
May 14, 2003, 10:01 AM
Didn't one of the Rental car companies get slapped for issuing speeding tickets to drivers of thier rental cars, even though the drivers weren't cited by the police. It was the satelite tracking system on the cars that was calculating thier speed, then they were generating a fine of some sort.

I hope in the future I don't have to have eye transplants like Tom Cruise in that movie about precrime...

CZ-75
May 14, 2003, 12:57 PM
these were only ever fitted to heavy goods vehicles and are called tachographs . they were fitted not to enforce speed limits but rather to ensure that restrictions on "working time" for drivers were enforced. they are still in use btw.

Perhaps in the UK, but I've heard that on the Continent, places like Germany and Scandinavian countries have been issuing tickets from them for a while now. I would say that if the device does anything more than record the time the vehicle is in motion, like record speed, then the device isn't as benign as you'd have us believe. There is no need to take speed measurements to determine the hours a driver has logged.

Perhaps trooper will enlighten us as to whether or not this is so.

I also know that there have been discussions to expand this technology over there to private vehicles as far back as the early '90s.

Considering the widespread use of video surveillance cameras, what would be the difference if the EU countries decide that you need a "black box"? Intrusiveness?

CZ-75
May 14, 2003, 01:01 PM
Didn't one of the Rental car companies get slapped for issuing speeding tickets to drivers of thier rental cars, even though the drivers weren't cited by the police. It was the satelite tracking system on the cars that was calculating thier speed, then they were generating a fine of some sort.

Not a ticket, per se, but a penalty charge. Some local agency in CT, I believe.

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