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Court OKs warrantless use of hidden surveillance cameras on private property

• www.news.cnet.com

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.

 
U.S. Attorney James Santelle, who argued that warrantless surveillance cameras on private property "does not violate the Fourth Amendment."

U.S. Attorney James Santelle, who argued that warrantless surveillance cameras on private property "does not violate the Fourth Amendment."

(Credit: U.S. Department of Justice)

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ross Wolf
Entered on:

The Court just approved police conducting without probable cause or warrants fishing expeditions on private property on the pretext of installing hidden surveillance cameras  (in hopes of police finding something.) The article did not mention how long police can legally keep cameras on private property without a warrant

Expect Rural property owners, especially at night may mistake police sneaking around their property to be burglars or worse; it is problematic police might get shot. How will the courts deal with that situation? Should innocent property owners be charged when trying to protect their family and property?

 

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