I was watching "Thirty Rock" last night on NetFlix and laughed when one of the characters stated he didn't have a cell phone because "he wasn't going to have a government tracking device on him." The character was made out to be a crazy antigovernment loon. But as I reflect, is that really far from the truth?
The United States Supreme Court recently decided a very followed case regarding the government placing GPS devises on cars to monitor people and whether the 4th Amendment provides protections against this. In United States v. Jones, the Supreme Court did in fact disallow the placing of the GPS device for that specific case, but not placement of GPS devices in general. They found that it was a violation in the specific case because the government had to trespass in order to initially place the device. It left many other questions open.
When the government lawyers indicated it was ok to go around placing devices, Justice Breyer replied: "[I]f you win this case, then there is nothing to prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movement of every citizen of the United States." Justice Breyer further remarked, "[I]f you win, you suddenly produce what sounds like 1984 . . . ."
A standard of reasonableness seems to be the issue. But the truth is, if the government is left to their own devices, reasonableness will not prevail and many peoples rights will be withered away. Proper procedures and protocols should be established ahead of time to help ensure and protect our rights and privacy. As technology continues to advance, these questions regarding our 4th Amendment and "Big Brother" will continue to appear.
Seeing as how the Constitutional protections seem to be most ignored in DUI cases, I foresee interesting procedures taking place in the future? Tracking devices allowed for people ever accused or suspected of drinking and driving?