The handwriting has been on the wall for quite some time; and now it’s official, at least for nine far west states – the government can place a GPS tracking device on your car while it is parked on your own property; then track and record your movements for an indefinite period of time, without ever securing a warrant to do so. This frightening situation is the result of a recent decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
So far, not all federal circuits agree with this decision, and at least one – in the District of Columbia — just days before the Ninth Circuit’s decision, had reached the opposite conclusion. Clearly, however, this ruling will embolden federal agents and prosecutors in other parts of the country to engage in similar, privacy-invasive and constitutionally suspect surveillance.
This case began with a Drug Enforcement Administration agent’s suspicions in May 2007, that an Oregon man by the name of Juan Pineda-Moreno was buying products from a