fourth amendment

Drug Case In Jeopardy Over Surveillance, Warrant Issues

A mistrial was declared in the case of an accused Rochester Hills drug dealer this month after it was disclosed his defense attorney never received pretrial information about a mobile tracking device placed on his client’s vehicle by investigators. But still in dispute —and possibly to be addressed at a pretrial hearing Tuesday— is whether the tracker that monitored his movements was legally attached to Dukes’ 2015 Cadillac. Officials have been unable to locate the original search warrant reportedly obtained from a Pontiac district judge by Detective Charles Janczarek, a member of the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team. Defense attorneys and civil right advocates said the case underscores concerns about the potential for abuse of GPS trackers by law enforcement and the need for proper search warrants.

Drone on Drones: New Court Decision Reflects Shifting Views on Privacy in Public

Whenever drone policy is raised as a topic, privacy concerns follow close behind it as a discussion point. The idea of aerial surveillance that is cheaper, less time-intensive, and requires fewer man hours to get off the ground leads immediately to concerns about the development of a surveillance state, where individuals can be monitored round the clock, and every public action can be recorded for posterity.

Federal Court Agrees With EFF, Throws Out Six Weeks of Warrantless Video Surveillance

As we have been following on, the use as evidence of video surveillance of a camera pointed at the front of a home (or business) from a "public vantage point" is working its way through the courts. Where an Appeals Court had previous allowed such evidence, now a judge has ruled that such evidence gathering activities violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As posted on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website: The public got an early holiday gift today when a federal court agreed with us that six weeks of continually video recording the frontyard of someone’s home without a search warrant violates the Fourth Amendment.

Video Evidence In Chop-Shop Case Challenged

Around the clock for more than four months, federal investigators watched the goings-on at a purported chop shop in central Toledo, Ohio, with a high-tech video camera that was mounted atop a telephone pole. Attorneys for Michael G. Wymer, the alleged leader of the operation, have asked U.S. District Judge James Carr to suppress the […]

Top 4 Ways US Gov’t Acting Unconstitutional On 4th Amendment

Editorial By Peter Van Buren. The views expressed below are those of Mr. Peter Van Buren. Leave us your comments below. Here’s a bit of history from another America: the Bill of Rights was designed to protect the people from their government. If the  First Amendment’s  right to speak out publicly was the people’s wall […]

Years After Court Ruling On GPS Tracking, Muddy Landscape For Judges, Law Enforcement

A 2-year-old Supreme Court decision has caused more confusion than clarity on how police may track the whereabouts of criminal suspects, illustrating how hard it is for the slow-moving judicial system to keep up with the light speed of technology. Alito, wrote that technological change can alter the public’s expectation of privacy and that lawmakers […]