Saturday, March 19, 2011

Holder on a Minute....

DOJ Weighs Supreme Court Challenge in GPS Surveillance Dispute

At issue - should the government be able to use an electronic device to track your whereabouts?  More specific to the case, should government agents be able to stick a GPS device (not the Garmin on your dash...) on your car without you knowing it, so that they can track you?
They can.  But, without an order from a judge? Don't we need an "impartial judge" from the Judicial Branch to check (or balance?) the Executive Branch's agents.
The Supreme Court of the United States has said yes, the government agents can do it, without a judge's approval.  Why?  Because a cop can follow you around - surveillance.  He can watch you with his eyes - if you are out in public. He has the same rights as any other individual.
But the cop doesn't have to use his eyes, he can use technology.  Your car, your highly regulated car...built to government standards, registered and titled by the government, traveling on roads built and monitored by the government, following strict governmental traffic laws...has a lower expectation of privacy when its subjected to so much regulation, and its out in public view.  So instead of watching you, the cop can put a device (on the outside) of your car, and watch his computer instead.  The Supreme Court has ruled so.
However, the District Court of Washington D.C. ruled differently.  So as it has stood since November, law enforcement in the District of D.C. - had to ask a judge.  Do judges say no to cops? No.  Part of the reasoning behind the Supreme Court's previous rulings. 
Also, any case in which a bad guy's car has a GPS on it, and it passes through the District of DC - you have to jump through some hoops, close one eye, and present your case to a committee.
Do you think cops should be able to do this? 
HOLD ON...That is not the point of the article.  The Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, may not even put up a fight on this one. 
What side is he on?


innominatus said...

Remember this from last year? If one reads well into the article, one finds that that latest versions of these devices are wired into the person's car so as not to need batteries.

So now one of Holder's crew can come on MY property and cut up the wiring on MY car, track MY comings and goings while draining MY car battery? All w/o a warrant?

I need to shut up now, before my anger causes me to say something that'll get a GPS stuck in my car.

LL said...

There are two types of trackers:

SLAP ON - self contained battery powered. No Warrant.

WIRE IN - required a warrant because they are wired into the automobile's power system and it's intrusive because they are 'embedded' in the car itself. These have the benefit of being nearly IMPOSSIBLE for the bad guys to find and the battery doesn't run out of juice. In days past one of my guys was the master of the auto black bag job.

The Geonautics trackers that we used were very expensive and loosing one due to a dead battery or to the bad guys finding it (when the car went for an oil change or they just found it) was annoying.

ON STAR - If it's a GM product with active On Star, you simply present your warrant to On Star and they track the car for you. Or if you get a Title 3, you can listen to what they're saying while they're inside of the car since On-Star has an interior microphone in the car.

I have no problem with using the trackers in either scenario and if you're dumb enough to buy a GM product with On Star ----.

The Obama Regime has brought with it very fuzzy logic. Am I surprised that Holder is dithering? No. Who's side is he on? Who's side in the American President on? Now, THAT is the question, isn't it?

LL said...

The latest rumor has it that Obama looking at appointing Jamie Gorelick to be the next director of the FBI.


Yes, you could make the argument that he appointed Leon Panetta (former librarian) to head the CIA and that Gorelick couldn't possibly be worse...


Gorelick’s career has been an unending series of conflicts of interest, abuses of power, and questionable decisions.

Between 1994 and 1997, Gorelick was Clinton’s Deputy Attorney General, the number two position at the Justice Department. In 1995, Gorelick wrote a memo outlining what would become known as “Gorelick’s Wall.” This memo interpreted court decisions on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and recommended a set of restrictions on the ability of criminal investigative organizations, like the FBI, to share information with intelligence agencies, like the CIA. Gorelick’s Wall prevented intelligence agencies from accessing the computer of Zacarias Moussaoui, a computer which could well have led to the discovery of 9/11 before it happened.

Moving on from the Justice Department, Gorelick took a job as the Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae between 1997 and 2003. Guess what Fannie Mae started doing while Gorelick was there? Yep: bundling subprime loans into securities.

Moreover, during this period, a $9 billion accounting scandal arose at Fannie Mae. According to the Director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, false signatures were used by Fannie Mae to shift expenses into the future and wrongly increase profits. During 1998, these false profits triggered $27.1 million in bonuses to a handful of Fannie Mae executives, including Gorelick, who received $779,625.

I could go on, but it might be considered a rant...

Race said...

I'm very familiar with couldn't get much worse, I mean for a serious candidate.