Following int he footsteps of 2011’s Supreme Court decision in Jones v. United Stated that placing a GPS tracking device on a suspects car without a warrant is constitutional, a new case is working its way through the federal court systems examining whether “reasonable suspicion” of wrongdoing by the police is enough to justify warrantless GPS tracking.
In the case of United States v. Robinson a US Magistrate Judge from the Eastern District of Missouri ruled that “reasonable suspicion” was sufficient for such warrantless GPS tracking. The US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri is now examining this ruling in greater detail.
The ACLU has filed an amicus brief in the case arguing the Magistrate’s ruling runs contrary to “the Supreme Court’s long-standing directive that warrantless searches are presumptively unreasonable and hold that defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated.”
While still a long way from reaching the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, this case very well may be the next battleground in the question of where the line will be drawn between use of electronic surveillance and protection of privacy and/or freedom from unreasonable search and seizure rights.