"Police are allowed in some circumstances to install hidden surveillance cameras on private property without obtaining a search warrant, a federal judge said yesterday.
CNET has learned that U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled that it was reasonable for Drug Enforcement Administration agents to enter rural property without permission -- and without a warrant -- to install multiple "covert digital surveillance cameras" in hopes of uncovering evidence that 30 to 40 marijuana plants were being grown.
This is the latest case to highlight how advances in technology are causing the legal system to rethink how Americans' privacy rights are protected by law. In January, the Supreme Court rejected warrantless GPS tracking after previously rejecting warrantless thermal imaging, but it has not yet ruled on warrantless cell phone tracking or warrantless use of surveillance cameras placed on private property without permission."
For anyone who has gotten past 'I don't care if they are watching because I am not doing anything wrong' on an intellectual level, this has to be fairly disturbing. Then again, a majority of Americans favor the use of surveillance drones, so maybe not as many people would be against this as I think.
That said, here's hoping that this makes it to the Supreme Court, and that it goes the way of warrantless GPS tracking and thermal imaging. I am all for our police using the best tools at their disposal as well as anything that makes their dangerous jobs safer. That said, having a judge at least take a look at some of these things first isn't overly onerous, and provides at least some safeguard against potential abuse.