The Reasoned Review

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4th Amendment? Who needs it!

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The Obama Administration has announced its belief that its government should be able to track where you are via your cell phone without obtaining a search warrant first.  See Kyllo v. United States for why this is probably unconstitutional. In the case, Kyllo was growing marijuana in his house when the police randomly scanned it with a thermal imager, finding the tell-tale heat signature.

The court later found that the warrantless thermal imaging was unconstitutional, stating:

Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of a private home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a Fourth Amendment “search,” and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant.

Emphasis mine. It should be clear that cell phone monitoring systems are not in general public use – and thus, incriminating evidence garnered from such should fall under fourth amendment protection.

But then again, we have a far more “conservative” Supreme Court than we did in 2001, so it’s likely that should this actually fall before their hallowed robes, they would go ahead and rule cell-phone spying constitutional.

And the Constitution utters yet another dying gasp, assailed by a man who once taught it at the University of Chicago. There’s no amendment against irony.


Written by pavanvan

February 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

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