Government secretly attaching GPS units to vehicles

Lately it seems that we can't go a day without learning that some device is tracking our location or that some organization is selling our private data to others. Privacy rights are decreasing, but we generally attribute this to corporations misusing our data. Now it appears that the United States federal government is getting in on the action.

According to a Wired.com report, the government has been secretly attaching GPS transmitters to the bumpers of vehicles owned by people they believe may be committing crimes. According to the article, one of the victims was constantly being followed around by law enforcement until one day it stopped. Suspicious, she checked underneath her car and found a device that was later identified to be a GPS. When her lawyer contacted the FBI, they confirmed that the device was theirs and demanded it back.

The big question is whether this type of secret spying on citizens if legal without a warrant or charges being filed. Many feel that the fourth amendment protects people from this type of search, while others say it's no different than having a law enforcement officer physically trail you. The issue is currently up in the air with some areas allowing it and some banning it. A federal judge upheld the requirement of a warrant but the Obama administration, disagreeing with the ruling, has requested that the Supreme Court make a decision on the legality of the surveillance.

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