Back at the end of February I passed along the news that after the Supreme Court had given the FBI a little bit of a smack down with it came to warrantless GPS tracking that the FBI claimed that they would have to shut off some 3,000 GPS tracking units already in play.
Now we have the NPR reporting that the FBI is still whining about the Court’s decision and that they had to scramble for weeks in order to get the search warrants they needed to turn those ‘needed’ GPS tracking units back on.
When he appeared before a Congressional hearing last month FBI Director Robert Meuller said that the ruling “will inhibit our ability” to do GPS tracking when it comes to a “number of surveillances where it has been tremendously beneficial”.
During his testimony Meuller also said that in case where the FBI didn’t have probable cause they had to deploy teams of six to eight agents in order to track suspects the old fashioned way.
It turns out that out of the 3,000 GPS tracker that were in use at the time of the ruling 2,750 of them have been turned back on with only 250 devices that they couldn’t turn on.
However what a FBI lawyer said in relation t o this to the NPR should really make the average American worry:
“If you require probable cause for every technique, then you are making it very, very hard for law enforcement,” an FBI lawyer told NPR.
via Ars Technica
Let that settle in for a minute.
“If you require probable cause for every technique….”
Isn’t that the whole point of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment – to protect the citizen from government and law enforcement from over stepping their power. What the FBI would apparently like is for the Fourth Amendment to disappear because screw the citizen the needs of the FBI are more important.
It should be up to the government and all law enforcement agencies to be able to prove beyond any doubt that a crime had been committed before search warrant and new technologies like GPS tracking are permissible.