Wisconsin court upholds GPS tracking by police


festus

God Bless Our Troops!!!
Wisconsin court upholds GPS tracking by police
By RYAN J. FOLEY | Associated Press Writer
2:42 PM CDT, May 7, 2009
Link Removed
MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin police can attach GPS to cars to secretly track anybody's movements without obtaining search warrants, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

However, the District 4 Court of Appeals said it was "more than a little troubled" by that conclusion and asked Wisconsin lawmakers to regulate GPS use to protect against abuse by police and private individuals.

As the law currently stands, the court said police can mount GPS on cars to track people without violating their constitutional rights -- even if the drivers aren't suspects.

Officers do not need to get warrants beforehand because GPS tracking does not involve a search or a seizure, Judge Paul Lundsten wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel based in Madison.



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Picking a GPS That means "police are seemingly free to secretly track anyone's public movements with a GPS device," he wrote.

One privacy advocate said the decision opened the door for greater government surveillance of citizens. Meanwhile, law enforcement officials called the decision a victory for public safety because tracking devices are an increasingly important tool in investigating criminal behavior.

The ruling came in a 2003 case involving Michael Sveum, a Madison man who was under investigation for stalking. Police got a warrant to put a GPS on his car and secretly attached it while the vehicle was parked in Sveum's driveway. The device recorded his car's movements for five weeks before police retrieved it and downloaded the information.

The information suggested Sveum was stalking the woman, who had gone to police earlier with suspicions. Police got a second warrant to search his car and home, found more evidence and arrested him. He was convicted of stalking and sentenced to prison.

Sveum, 41, argued the tracking violated his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. He argued the device followed him into areas out of public view, such as his garage.

The court disagreed. The tracking did not violate constitutional protections because the device only gave police information that could have been obtained through visual surveillance, Lundsten wrote.

Even though the device followed Sveum's car to private places, an officer tracking Sveum could have seen when his car entered or exited a garage, Lundsten reasoned. Attaching the device was not a violation, he wrote, because Sveum's driveway is a public place.

"We discern no privacy interest protected by the Fourth Amendment that is invaded when police attach a device to the outside of a vehicle, as long as the information obtained is the same as could be gained by the use of other techniques that do not require a warrant," he wrote.

Although police obtained a warrant in this case, it wasn't needed, he added.

Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, said using GPS to track someone's car goes beyond observing them in public and should require a warrant.

"The idea that you can go and attach anything you want to somebody else's property without any court supervision, that's wrong," he said. "Without a warrant, they can do this on anybody they want."

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's office, which argued in favor of the warrantless GPS tracking, praised the ruling but would not elaborate on its use in Wisconsin.

David Banaszynski, president of the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, said his department in the Milwaukee suburb of Shorewood does not use GPS. But other departments might use it to track drug dealers, burglars and stalkers, he said.

A state law already requires the Department of Corrections to track the state's most dangerous sex offenders using GPS. The author of that law, Rep. Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, said the decision shows "GPS tracking is an effective means of protecting public safety."
 

boris

New member
if it ain't one thing it's something else..

foreign military forces on our soil, u.n. equipment here and now a clear violation of the 4th amendment and shades of a police state. your just like HK, festus. always full of good news!:pleasantry::laugh:
 

Sheldon

New member
They don't need to on GM On Star cars, it is part of the OS.....N they cal listen in or shut down the vehicle via remote too....
 

HK4U

New member
festus or someone that may know I have a question. I have read somewhere that the ability is there to make our phones "hot" on the hook. In other words listen in to conversation in the home even when the phone is hung up. Can anyone varify if this is true?
 

festus

God Bless Our Troops!!!
not only is this true...

festus or someone that may know I have a question. I have read somewhere that the ability is there to make our phones "hot" on the hook. In other words listen in to conversation in the home even when the phone is hung up. Can anyone varify if this is true?

cell phones can be made hot even while turned off as long as the battery is good. You see, a cell phone is never truly off unless the battery is separated from the unit and the unit is completely isolated. Cell phones aren't off just very efficiently asleep.

If you call 911 they will find you via GPS in a matter of seconds. This is a built in safety feature. Any call can be tracked by GPS and tower triangulation. It only takes seconds if you have the right equipment and the right permissions. (ie the gummint)

This is why drug dealers use the 25.00 trac phones and ditch them after one or two calls.

Echelon(an NSA program disclosed by congress after 9/11) picks up the chatter looking for key words and phrases and then sorts the signals by activity. since there is a declared war on drugs those calls can be tapped, tracked, cataloged and used against the dealers in court.
 

Sheldon

New member
cell phones can be made hot even while turned off as long as the battery is good. You see, a cell phone is never truly off unless the battery is separated from the unit and the unit is completely isolated. Cell phones aren't off just very efficiently asleep.

If you call 911 they will find you via GPS in a matter of seconds. This is a built in safety feature. Any call can be tracked by GPS and tower triangulation. It only takes seconds if you have the right equipment and the right permissions. (ie the gummint)

This is why drug dealers use the 25.00 trac phones and ditch them after one or two calls.

Echelon(an NSA program disclosed by congress after 9/11) picks up the chatter looking for key words and phrases and then sorts the signals by activity. since there is a declared war on drugs those calls can be tapped, tracked, cataloged and used against the dealers in court.

You can turn off the GPS feature, but there are ways to make your cell work even if you are not using it.....
 

festus

God Bless Our Troops!!!
any tranmitter active or passive can be traced

You can turn off the GPS feature, but there are ways to make your cell work even if you are not using it.....

even if you turn off the gps feature the cell in your pocket still "talks to the system" to update time and services every so often. Each phone has it's own electronic finger print and is traceable in that manner by using tower triangulation to pin point your phone.
 

Sheldon

New member
even if you turn off the gps feature the cell in your pocket still "talks to the system" to update time and services every so often. Each phone has it's own electronic finger print and is traceable in that manner by using tower triangulation to pin point your phone.

That can be defeated too with out turning off the phone if you know what you are doing. :pleasantry:

What I was referring to is the programs that can be downloaded to your phone with out your knowledge that allows remote access to all it's features, including allowing it to be turned on and act like a bug allowing someone to listen in to your conversation where ever you may be....:fie::fie::fie:

These programs are very clandestine, basically invisible to the phone owner and in that case the only recourse is a hard reset, replace the phone, or remove the battery when not in use.....:cray:
 

rayven

New member
Wisconsin court upholds GPS tracking by police

If a cop puts a GPS unit on a car without a warrant, which is apparently legal, couldn't the owner of the car sue the police department for tampering with private property?

Legally speaking, I cannot modify anyone else's property unless I have either a warrant or authorization from the owner. So adding a GPS unit could be a civil court case since the courts aren't worried about 4th amendment issues anymore.

I'm curious as to what all of you think of this. Anyone care to comment?
 

CathyInBlue

Tool Maker
I feel the need to start marketting "ground effects kits" that seal up and occupy all of that empty space under an automobile... to streamline all of the wind flowing under the automobile and improving gas mileage, dontcha know.

Perhaps "electrostatic autobody dirt repellant systems" as well. While the vehicle is in operation, RF emitters "polarize" the body with an electric field to help keep the paint job clean. Might have a sliiiiiight side effect of crashing any embedded electronics systems attached to the outside of the body, or just inhibitting reception of satellite signals.

You know, there was a clause of the USA PATRIOT [sic] Act that when they reviewed your library reading habits, the librarians were forbidden to announce that they had reviewed library records. I wonder if there will be a plate on the Bat-Tracker warning any auto-mechanics against informing their customer that the police are recording their travels.

What if a tracker falls off while in transit? What if it were "helped" to fall off? What if this dislodgement happened at Interstate speeds and the Bat-Tracker's schrapnel damaged other vehicles, perhaps even causing a collision? Who would be culpable? The tracked vehicle owner? The tracked vehicle operator? Either of which may or may not have been aware of its presence. The police officer who placed it on the vehicle? The department for which that officer worked?

What if, after the Bat-Tracker is installed, the vehicle is driven out of the jurisdiction and left there, say it's sold to a party out of state, or driven on vacation and totalled in a collision, will the owner of the vehicle be made liable for the cost of the Bat-Tracker he didn't know was there? What about applications of Bat-Trackers on other properties? What if they waste an officer's time stalking you to wait for you to run out to the market so they can install it in the parking lot while you're in the store?

Ooo. I'm now hearing from FoxNews that they didn't affix it under the car, they had to not only tresspass onto private property to attach it, they broke into the car, they entered into the car, and they installed the device inside the car. Sounds like a future spike in auto-alarm systems and secure garages.
 

Sheldon

New member
Ooo. I'm now hearing from FoxNews that they didn't affix it under the car, they had to not only tresspass onto private property to attach it, they broke into the car, they entered into the car, and they installed the device inside the car. Sounds like a future spike in auto-alarm systems and secure garages.

I have a high end Viper security system on my PU, touch it and I will me notified up to 1 mile away....
 

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