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This is excellent news. I had begun to worry that the rapid advancement in technology may take awhile to hold up to scrutiny. We still need a clear concise decision in regards to software deployed on hardware for search purposes.



Note that the opinion just says that it's a search within the fourth amendment context. The court did not make any determination on whether it was a reasonable search and/or seizure since the state court never even considered that aspect of the case.

So yes, it's good that it's considered a search and/or seizure, but the case could still come back that it is reasonable, and thus legal.


After reading your point I wondered whether the "reasonable" distinction had any bearing on the requirement for a warrant. The warrant requirement is what I'm most interested in here. I came across http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_exception which seems particularly relevant. Apparently motor vehicles have a lower expectation of privacy, so I wonder whether this means that a separate ruling is needed on whether GPS trackers on motor vehicles need a warrant.


As the article states, the Supreme Court has already ruled that putting a GPS tracker on a vehicle requires a warrant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Jones_(2012)


Yes, this ruling is a pretty straightforward application of United States v. Jones, rather than much of a development in 4th-amendment law. The opinion [1] is 4 1/2 pages long, and doesn't do much more than say exactly that: it points out that the lower court's holding is plainly incompatible with Jones, and sends it back down to be reheard accordingly.

[1] http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-593_o7jq.pdf


Which is fine as well as that result could be taken to the Supreme Court. I do feel that life long requirements are just ridiculous, I can see wearing one during a probationary period provided that requirement is also on other probationers. However if your trying to only select one type of probationer then I have to ask, why are they out?


Still a much greater hurdle for the securistas to have to surpass than if it wasn't!


I've long believed that the best way to interpret this part of the 4th Amendment is that people have a right to be free of scrutiny unless there's a reason to suspect something. If there's nobody with a legitimate belief that I'm doing something wrong, then nobody's got the right to poke into my business.

My interpretation yields a pretty simple rule; the path we've been following for some time yields lots of exceptions and subjective judgments.


That's not an interpretation rooted in the text of the amendment. An equally simple rule is that the government needs a warrant whenever a search impinges on your property right (person, house, papers, and effects are all things you have a property right in).




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