Where Should You Park Your Car?
Very simple question, right? Most folks park in their driveways, a carport, on the street in front of their home or in a garage. Perfectly normal and rather safe, at least from government intruding and snooping. Not so much anymore. That is , if you live in the geographic area encompassing California and 8 other western states. For this potentially snoopervision ( thank you Paul Harvey) you may thank the U S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
Yes indeed, this bastion of liberal thought and action has handed down a ruling that must be quite a shock to the court’s usual fans. What this decision does at its basic level can be described a bit like this. Government agents, probably some of the three-letter boys, can sneak into your driveway, plant a GPS device on your vehicle and monitor said device, all without obtaining a search warrant or violating the 4th amendment right to privacy.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be searched.
So says the 4th amendment. Let us see how the court manged to pull of this feat. The ruling stems from a 2007 case involving a suspected marijuana grower whom the DEA was after. And they did just what we described in paragraph two above. Why was the driveway open to the DEA ? Listen closely. The driveway is open to strangers such as delivery people or neighborhood children who can wander across uninvited. Huh!
Here is a funny part of the ruling, not ha-ha funny. A strong dissent was rendered by Reagan appointee Alex Kozinski, the Court’s chief judge who opined that the ruling was Orwellian and a herald of 1984. Fortunately, the U S Court of Appeals for the D C circuit took a unanimous pro-privacy stand. Never forget, the 9th Circuit Court is quite influential so this ruling could be a harbinger of things to come.
Meanwhile, just to be safe, try parking your car indoors.
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