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The police do not need probable cause to surveil a vehicle driving on public streets.

If they did, I would understand the argument that warrantless telemetry was scary. They'd be using technology to bypass a check/balance that already exists. But they don't. The police can follow you for no reason. They can follow you because they don't like the look of your haircut.

I do not think the police should have 24x7 access to telemetry from all vehicles. I think the process needs to start with, "Subject K of this investigation is known to drive this late motel Honda Civic, and we are now commencing GPS surveillance".

I do worry about the consequences of LEOs cherry-picking from a constant stream of everyone's telemetry data, so that for instance you might get harassed if you lived in nice neighborhood X and drove into bad neighborhood Y for a few minutes, and, whoops, now there's probable cause that you just went and bought drugs. That kind of stuff? Bad! A good reason why we shouldn't be OK with them getting all the OnStar data or whatnot.

But that's simply not what we're talking about here. As long as an LEO has to walk up to a car deliberately and attach a device (which again let's be honest probably costs way too much for them to throw away), I am fine with it.




But they are limited by resources. Say your 2nd cousin is a drug dealer. They probably aren't going to tail you in an unmarked car.

However, if they can slap a GPS tracker on your car they might just do that.

This technology allows them to cast a MUCH wider net allowing more potentially innocent people to be caught up in it.


> "The police do not need probable cause to surveil a vehicle driving on public streets."

What I meant was: having telemetry data makes it trivial for the police to concoct a story that would sail through any judicial review for a warrant. They're already notorious for pulling people over for such sins as Driving-While-Black. Telemetry data would make it very easy for them extend that harassment with search warrants. Not to mention the knowledge that the police can get such a warrant on a whim (and toss your house upside down, impounding your electronics) would be absolutely devastating to the liberty of anyone they feel like harassing.

> "As long as an LEO has to walk up to a car deliberately and attach a device (which again let's be honest probably costs way too much for them to throw away), I am fine with it."

Cost is perhaps the least convincing argument against strict limits and judicial oversight on this behavior. The surveillance state has a clear and unwavering history of constant expansion in legislative authority, budget and implemented scope. And that's more than ably abetted by the constant downward pressure on technological product costs.

Your argument strikes me like saying that the TSA's scope was reasonable on day 1, and we needn't worry about strict limits on its inevitable expansion in invasive-ness and locations 'secured', simply because it would cost too much to expand.

Relying on the price of security state enforcement to protect our liberties is nothing short of shockingly naive.




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