Feb. 27, 2012 at 1:39 PM ET
The FBI says it has turned off 3,000 GPS tracking devices attached to vehicles around the nation because of a recent Supreme Court ruling that police must get a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects.
At a University of San Francisco School of Law conference, "Big Brother in the 21st Century," FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann, said the agency is reviewing its guidelines for GPS use to track suspects because of the Jan. 23 court decision.
"After the ruling, the FBI had a problem collecting the devices that it had turned off, Mr. Weissmann said," noted the Wall Street Journal. "In some cases, he said, the FBI sought court orders to obtain permission to turn the devices on briefly – only in order to locate and retrieve them."
Of course, the FBI uses many different tools to do its investigative work; GPS is one of the more recent ones.
Snooping in the trash is a tried-and-true method -- but Weissmann said that the FBI is also now "wrestling" with the legality of doing that, specifically lifting up the lid of a trash can, without being charged with trespassing. The reason for the review? In its GPS ruling, the Supreme Court said that FBI agents had trespassed when they put GPS devices on cars without a warrant.
-- Via ArsTechnica