And I hate it that the front door to the house isn’t private property. Daily, people leave fliers and business cards and unsolicited junk on the door!
ï»¿This week’s big news story: the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that the government can, without a warrant, sneak onto your property, your driveway, and place a GPS tracking device on your car that tracks everywhere you go. We no longer have a reasonable expectation of privacy for our driveways, which even delivery people can use.
Shockingly, this ruling is actually getting some media coverage.
Plenty of liberals have objected to this kind of spying, but it is the conservative Chief Judge Kozinski who has done so most passionately. “1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it’s here at last,” he lamented in his dissent. And invoking Orwell’s totalitarian dystopia where privacy is essentially nonexistent, he warned: “Some day, soon, we may wake up and find we’re living in Oceania.”
Some have pointed out that if you are wealthy, you probably live in a gated community or have gates around your property that would extend your zone of reasonable expectation of privacy. So only the poor people have less privacy. But that’s OK, isn’t it? I mean, wealthy people don’t commit crimes. Wealthy people don’t bilk billions, even trillions out of the unsuspecting. Enron never happened. No Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme. No Wall Street bail out while the captains of capitalism lived off the slaughtered fatted cow.
Besides, privacy died long ago in this country — during the George W. Bush administration, I do believe. His cronies called it The Patriot Act. Just the name says “Run! Don’t walk!” During his administration and the Republican rein of terror, not only were hundreds of thousands of surveillance cameras installed all over this nation, but warrantless wiretaps, “enhanced interrogations,” and god knows what else were made the order of the day.
And who are we kidding? I’d bet my last dollar that the US government routinely snags the GPS satellite data from specific cars at will. There really is no need to place anything on the cars of serious criminals. That’s so last century. Only puny local police departments have to actually walk onto someone’s driveway to plant a GPS under their car. The big time crooks already have GPS as part of the most fashionable bling package.
The totalitarian state is here. Is now. We live it. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are just window dressing from a time gone by.
- Court allows agents to secretly put GPS trackers on cars (cnn.com)
- Warrentless GPS Tracking Of Your Car Is Legal If You’re Not Wealthy Enough To Protect It (dvorak.org)
- The Government Can Use GPS to Track Your Moves (time.com)
- The Government’s New Right to Track Your Every Move With GPS (time.com)
- Judge Kozinski Doesn’t Track with the Ninth Circuit on GPS and the Fourth AmendmentCalls his fellow judges ‘cultural elitists’ when it comes to privacy. (abovethelaw.com)