Feds to judge: We still think we can put GPS trackers on cars entering US

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Enlarge / Aerial view of vehicles lining up to cross to the United States at San Ysidro Port of Entry as seen from Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico on August 10, 2018. (credit: GUILLERMO ARIAS / AFP / Getty Images)

A top Homeland Security Investigations official has told a federal court that it remains the agency's policy that officers can install a GPS tracking device on cars entering the United States "without a warrant or individualized suspicion" for up to 48 hours.

There is no such time limit, HSI Assistant Director Matthew C. Allen also told the court, for putting such trackers on "airplane, commercial vehicles, and semi-tractor trailers, which has a significantly reduced expectation of privacy in the location of their vehicles."

Such an assertion comes over a month after a federal judge recently told the Department of Justice that such a practice—at least in one drug-trafficking case—is unconstitutional. His decision is based on a landmark 2012 Supreme Court ruling involving GPS tracking, known as Jones.

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