A bipartisan group that includes former leaders of the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration today called for limits on law enforcement’s use of GPS and other powerful technologies to track the movements of suspects, reports the Associated Press. Police should be required to obtain a search warrant for any GPS surveillance that lasts more than 24 hours, contends The Constitution Project, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. The group says a warrant always should be needed when authorities have to install a tracking device on a vehicle.
The group’s liberty and security committee issued a report in advance of the Supreme Court’s consideration of the issue in November. The group says it recognizes the usefulness of tracking technologies, “but the government should not have unchecked discretion to electronically track anyone, anywhere, at any time without cause.” The Obama administration says warrants would hamper law enforcement investigations and aren’t needed because the surveillance monitors movements on public streets. The administration is asking the court to reinstate the conviction of Washington nightclub owner Antoine Jones for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.