High court: police GPS device on car is a search

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 23, 2012 10:43 AM
High court: police GPS device on car is a search

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court for the first time ruled on Monday that police use of a GPS device to monitor a suspect's vehicle was a search and protected by constitutional privacy rights, a test case involving new surveillance technology.

The high court's ruling was a defeat for the Obama administration, which defended the use of global positioning system devices without a warrant and without a person's knowledge as a legal way to monitor a vehicle on public streets.

The court unanimously held that the government's attachment of the GPS device to a vehicle and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle's movement was a search and was covered by constitutional protections unreasonable searches and seizures of evidence.

(Reporting By James Vicini; Editing by Jackie Frank)