Tue, 03 May 2011

Editorial

From FidoGazette

Richard, in his continuing Toolbox series, brings to light issues that all of us should care about.

Many of these powers like warrantless gps tracking can be abused by local authorities, and U.S. Attorneys for political purposes.

A U.S. Attorney in one administration could use this power to track people protesting outside an Abortion Clinic... The U.S. Attorney for the same district in the next administration could use this power to track people protesting outside a military recruiting office.

One of the primary reasons for requiring warrants for such actions is that a judge has to be convinced that a crime has been committed or is likely to be committed. That serves to discourage the abuse of these powers for political purposes. Absent the requirement for warrants, the control is lost.

One of the protections that the founding fathers thought they were building into the Constitution was the protection against the use of government agencies to suppress legitimate political dissent.

Suppose a U.S. Attorney was shown the content of a fidonet political echo and decided that some of the posters in that echo should be ummm "watched" and had a law enforcement agent slap a gps tracker on that person's car. Given this Appelate Ruling there is nothing to stop them. They no longer need to prove to a judge that you are conspiring to commit a crime.

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