At first glance, I went old-school in my head – ignoring the word Digital – thinking this was an article regarding such folks as Ernesto “the convicted rapist stabbed to death in a bar” Miranda.
Turns out, it’s about bullies, con-artists, hackers, drug dealers and child pornographers who all achieved
fame notoriety using errant electronic means in commission of their crimes. Were caught and convicted. And legal precedents protecting all of us were established therefrom.
How did Jones’ drug-dealing benefit your rights?
In overturning Jones’ conviction and life sentence, the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the authorities needed a warrant to affix a GPS tracker to his vehicle and monitor his movements for 28 days, which linked him to various drug houses. The case obliterated the Obama administration’s position that attaching a GPS device to a vehicle was not a search and did not require a warrant from a judge.
Following the ruling, the FBI stopped using thousands of GPS devices it was employing without warrants. “This is one of the biggest Fourth Amendment cases in recent memory,” says Hanni Fakhoury, an Electronic Frontier Foundation staff attorney. “It was huge.”
The Justices also wrote, in the ruling, that they thought they should review the so-called “business-records” exemption that allows the authorities to obtain banking, medical, and telephone records without a probable-cause warrant. Though the court last month rejected without comment a related challenge to the NSA phone metadata program, which allows federal spies to collect all calling information in the United States.
A pretty good read, if you can stomach reading about child pornographers and drug dealers…