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Is this ok with you? Can the government keep track of you everywhere you go?

Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway - and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre - and scary - rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants - with no need for a search warrant. (Read about one man's efforts to escape the surveillance state.)


Asked by sweet-a-kins at 9:45 AM on Aug. 25, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (24)
  • It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.

    The court's ruling, he said, means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night.



    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:51 AM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • My dogs would tell on them ... nothing 'sneaks' around here at night (or during the day for that matter lol). My roosters would tell on them (and likely put on a classless porn exhibit). My pigs would leap and dance (and likely add their own porn demo) begging for food.

    Me ~ well I would simply watch them 'sneak' their device onto my vehicle ~ wait for them to leave ~ and it would be MY turn to stick that device somewhere. I have a lot of squirrels ... there are occasional stray dogs wandering by ... deer ...

    Cripes, if gubmint is THAT bored I'll play. Intrusive idiots.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 9:58 AM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • it wouldnt bother me...they would get bored watching me and would eventually lose interest. "aww..shes going to walmart AGAIN"

    Answer by shay1130 at 9:52 AM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • I can't keep track of everywhere I go. They can have at it, there's a reason all my cars have ever had over 100,000 miles.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 9:52 AM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • Boy would they be disappointed in the results of a tracking device on my car.... I drive less than 2300miles a year... and yet I leave at least 5 times a day....

    because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway...

    This does bother me... I do have reasonable expectation of privacy in my driveway because that means my "personal" car is on my "personal property" that I own and pay taxes on and anyone stepping on to that personal property is trespassing.... Hmmm... does that mean that they don't have the expectation of not being shot for trespassing on my property to place the device on my car? I'll have to check on that...just to be sure I don't have to drag them in the house afterwards...can't remember the law on protecting person property...


    Answer by WoodWitch at 9:56 AM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • ROFLMAO... Farmlady09... I'm sitting here picturing my crazy flippin squirrels running around like freaks with a GPS device on a collar. Can you image the interference from the electric lines they are running on... SO FUNNY.... I can see it now...

    Hey Bob, the crazy farmlady looks to be .... is she stealing pears from that tree on the north end of that property?... wait no, the signal is fuzzy, hold on.... now come on, how can that car be there...its a heavily wooded... Hey Joe, check Google Earth and see if we can get a updated satellite image of this zone...they must have put some new roads in recently...


    Answer by WoodWitch at 10:04 AM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway...

    That works both ways - since they don't have a court order to put it on your car, they have no legal means to force it to stay there. Simple answer - take it off, and keep taking it off until they DO get a court order.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:05 AM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • I don't like that idea. I am one of the most boring person in the world, but that does not mean I want the government monitoring whether I went to Pick N' Save or Woodman's to buy lettuce.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 11:48 AM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • Ahhh the wisdom of the 9th circuit First, the 9th is a joke. This will not hold up. While the 9th may think we have no reasonable expectations of privacy in our own driveways I beg to differ. I'd like you to find even a small minority that would believe in that. Personally, I don't think it's the" in the driveway" that matters so much. It's the" you are tracking me without my knowledge with no reason" that would bother people the most. Even so, the ruling will go to the supreme court and it will be overturned as is most everything else the 9th makes decisions on.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 9:53 AM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • I can see two sides of this. I think though that they should be required to have a warrant to be able to do it. According to the article it sounds as though they don't need a warrant right now.
    As for the govt. being able to track people, there are plenty of ways for them to do that. Cells phones for one. Everyone has one and if they have your information they can pretty much tell where you are at all times as long as it's on or you are making calls. OnStar and other emergency devices on vehicles know where your car is at all times as well. I think if they are going through someone else they need a warrant. I am not okay with this if they don't have to go the warrant route. That's what we have courts for. I would probably feel different about this situation if they knew without a doubt that the guy they were tracking was a drug dealer or kingpin, but the article states that he was 'suspected'.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:55 AM on Aug. 25, 2010