Imagine a society where law enforcement authorities have free reign in listening to people’s conversations, watching every move, and recording where and when a person goes to – without any knowledge they are being monitored and tracked at all. Sounds eerie, doesn’t it? Well, this draconic ‘Big Brother’ scenario might not be a remote possibility right now following a recent decision by the California Federal Court of Appeals to uphold unwarranted use of GPS tracking devices by federal agents on a drug conviction case.
The defendant in question was Juan Pineda-Moreno was convicted of drug trafficking after federal agents allegedly placed hidden GPS trackers on his Jeep even without an issued search warrant to do so. Pineda-Moreno appealed to the Federal Court but was rejected on grounds that the agents placed these GPS tracking devices when the vehicle was on public property.
Why should you, an ordinary law-abiding citizen, be concerned about developments from this seemingly isolated case? For one thing, this incident is a direct violation of the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution — the only firewall people have against warrantless use of GPS tracking devices by police, federal agents and other government authorities.
What this simply means for you is that the police cannot just go out and place any type of hidden tracker on your vehicle or property without a warrant or without you knowing about it. Imagine the implications it would have on you should law enforcement officials or private investigators have free access to your vehicles just because it was parked on public property. That would be a total invasion of your privacy, a thing that many people are trying to protect in a world where spy-like tools are available in the market – and at wholesale prices!
The only way to combat technology is to counter it with the same technology – through the use of GPS jammers. Whether the courts uphold the 4th Amendment or not in relation to the use of warrantless GPS tracking devices nothing can stop a person from ordering and buying a GPS tracker, throw it into your car, then track and record where you are going – all without your knowledge.
Although the purchase of GPS jammers is still restricted within the United States, anyone can order these devices from international wholesale suppliers and get them the next day. However, you should practice discretion if you should decide on importing a GPS jammer from one of these international wholesalers. It would be best to learn any stipulations or restrictions in your own locality – before making any decision to purchase.
In the meantime, civic rights groups continue their appeal on US courts to totally reject unwarranted use of GPS tracking devices by private parties and law enforcement agencies. They are very adamant in restricting use of GPS tracking devices by law enforcement authorities to track people only after obtaining a valid search warrant for a judge.