Re: Court Orders Gov't To Disclose GPS Tracking Data

There was a comment on slashdot pointing out a seeming contradiction.

A.  We can place gps devices on people's cars and track them without a warrant because their cars are in public places and they have no expectation of privacy.

B.  We cannot release the records because that would violate their privacy.

Can they both be true?

Sent from my iPad

On Sep 8, 2011, at 0:02, Rigo Wenning <> wrote:

> Hi all, 
> The argument they have is surprising. The ACLU wants to know how common
> the practice of warrantless GPS tracking is and uses a FOIA request
> (paved way). Now comes the trap that the DOJ is using. The FOI only
> provides access to documents, not the possibility to ask questions. The
> document contains the names of the people tracked by GPS. Hence the
> argument of DOJ about FOIA and not to reveal the names. 
> It would be very easy for the DOJ to come up with non-invasive
> statistics saying: We had 2532 cases of warrantless geo-tracking. No
> names, no privacy issue. The DOJ could black out the names, but this
> would be much work and ultimately, some of the tracked innocent will
> find out because of the movement profiles and start legal action.
> In a European context, it would be the task of parliament to ask the
> government about such practices and government would have to respond
> with statistical counts. 
> So I wonder why the parliament is not helping the ACLU to find out about
> such a practice. Because the issue is with the warrantless surveillance
> of innocent people, not the guilty/convicted. And about those, neither
> the new court order nor the document give any information. So the issue
> remains unsolved whatever decision there will be. 
> I continue to believe that warrantless searches and tracking is
> dangerous for a democratic society as it has panoptic effects and helps
> to predict the movement of large parts of the population, ultimately
> leading to a steering/manipulation.
> Best, 
> Rigo
> On Thu, 2011-09-08 at 08:23 +0200, Karl Dubost wrote: 
>> Le 8 sept. 2011 à 02:52, David Singer a écrit :
>>> "United States law enforcement officials have been utilizing data
>> provided by global positioning satellite systems to track down
>> individual suspects, without having to demonstrate probable cause
>> before a judge first — that much is known. Rights groups such as the
>> ACLU have wondered, just how much of that goes on?" 
>> There are plenty of systems/devices using automatic recording of
>> geolocations. These systems are used by government services (ex:
>> police) or individual (ex: private investigator, parents) for tracking
>> a person. 
>> The question being: "Is it right to do it without a court order?"

Received on Thursday, 8 September 2011 14:38:03 UTC