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Drones, Dogs and the Future of Privacy

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the cruising-gently-down-the-slippery-slope dept.

Privacy 106

An anonymous reader writes "Stanford's Ryan Calo has previously told us that 'that there is very little in American privacy law that would prohibit drone surveillance within our borders.' But will UAVs not only be legally permitted to monitor us in public, but also be used to 'peer' into homes with high-tech thermal and chemical sensors and alert police to the presence of illicit substances or other suspicious activity? Calo writes in Wired about a pending Supreme Court case, Florida v. Jardines, which will determine 'whether the police need a warrant before a dog can sniff your house' like they already do to luggage at airports. According to Calo, if the Court approves of these searches, it's a small leap to extend that same logic to the use of drones, allowing them 'to roam a neighborhood in search of invisible infractions such as indoor marijuana.' He concludes: 'The wrong decision in Jardines makes this and similar surveillance scenarios uncomfortably plausible.'"

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It's already been ruled on. (5, Informative)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311003)

Cops cannot use thermal imaging to see inside without a warrant. What you saw on Weeds was just a TV show.

The walls of your house create an expectation of privacy, and that privacy is protected by the constitution.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311095)

Does the expectation of privacy keep the smells from coming over the said walls?

Re:It's already been ruled on. (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311119)

Knowing my neighbor I can only say: I WISH!

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

srmalloy (263556) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313567)

They can stand on the sidewalk, or in the street, and sample the air blowing past my house. Proving that the components that they identified came from my house, and not from a source upwind of my house, is going to be difficult, however, and coming onto my property to sniff directly at my home is trespassing on my property if done without a warrant, making any evidence inadmissible -- and if they have a warrant, why don't they just use it to enter and search the house?

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313657)

coming onto my property to sniff directly at my home is trespassing on my property if done without a warrant, making any evidence inadmissible

There is already ample case law that makes "your property" completely navigable and searchable by law enforcement. The prevailing legal theory is that having a walkway, a front door, a facade, etc., makes your front yard and environs an "invitation" to the public to approach the house. So you can't stop the police from wandering on your property and checking out the outside without a privacy fence completely surrounding your house and a locked gate at the driveway.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317459)

"The prevailing legal theory is that having a walkway, a front door, a facade, etc., makes your front yard and environs an "invitation" to the public to approach the house. So you can't stop the police from wandering on your property and checking out the outside without a privacy fence completely surrounding your house and a locked gate at the driveway."

Complete horseshit. I don't know where you live or where you got your information, but in my state anyway, nothing even remotely like that "prevailing legal theory" exists. Police have no right to come onto my property unless they have AT LEAST reasonable suspicion in a few very specific circumstances, and in the vast majority of cases they must have probable cause or be specifically allowed by an adult at the residence. They can knock on the door if they have official business but they may not walk up to my door in order to conduct any kind of search or surveillance without cause, which means a warrant or in the course of an arrest for something else.

They have NO presumed right or "invitation" to come onto my property at any time, regardless of the presence of any drive or walkway, or even "open house" signs on the front lawn. NONE. It simply doesn't exist. It might be remotely possible that it does exist in your particular state, but if so, that's probably why I don't live there. In practice, I don't think state laws vary quite that much.

While on the subject, also speaking only for my own state: it is illegal for law enforcement to conduct surveillance on my property without a warrant based on probable cause. And "surveillance" is in interesting term in regard to the law. For example: obviously, if I leave the curtains open in the front of my house, it is not reasonable to blame anyone who is walking past for glancing inside. But habitually staring through my window (not just law enforcement, but even the neighbor across the street), to see what is going on inside, or using binoculars or a camera, is "surveillance" and is illegal... even if my curtains remain open.

It is also illegal to use any means to view on my property what cannot be seen from normal, reasonable activity OUTSIDE my property. So for example, if I have a 6-foot fence around my yard (the maximum height allowed inside the city limits without applying for a variance), and you are a person 5'8" tall, you can see the front yard and the back fence, and possibly glimpse a few things through any gaps or knotholes in the fence while walking by... but peering through the knothole to see the activity inside, or standing on a ladder or using a periscope to see over the fence, is again illegal surveillance. However, back to the other side: kids next door bouncing on a trampoline for fun or exercise are not conducting "surveillance" if they can thus see over the fence. It depends entirely on the individual circumstances.

The reason I have gone on about this, is that it is important because it ALSO applies to things like police helicopters and drones. If they HAPPEN TO BE flying over, in the course of going from one point of interest to another, and accidentally happen to spot something illegal, so be it. However, if they are being used with the intention of conducting surveillance -- defined as trying to see things on my property that would not normally be seen by passersby -- it is ILLEGAL without a warrant based on probable cause. This is true regardless of whether they are doing it to every house in the whole neighborhood, or randomly, or individually. So drones here wouldn't wash. The way the law works, in most cases either they'd be completely useless, or they'd be mired down in court challenges so often as to render them giant cash black holes for law enforcement. I can see them being used as additional resources where warrants already exist, or in large tracts of public land, etc. But those aren't the kinds of things that are privacy concerns for most people, anyway.

No, IANAL. But I am familiar with the laws in my state, because as a privacy advocate it behooves me to be. I have had to look them up and inquire about them on a number of occasions, and I have read detailed explanations of these things BY lawyers in my state.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (3, Interesting)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318253)

Complete horseshit.

Not at all. Your own personal desire for privacy on your property does not make law, regardless of how outraged you may be at the situation. I'll simply point to a few cases such as CALIFORNIA v. CIRAOLO [findlaw.com] which held it legal for police to fly an airplane over someone's yard to get a look above the privacy fences, and the similar case FLORIDA v. RILEY [findlaw.com] which held that a helicopter fly-over that allowed observation through the openings in a green house did not require a warrant. Perhaps the most instructive case would be US v. DUNN [4lawnotes.com] , which sets extremely narrow definition of "curtilage" of a home - the area where you may have an expectation of privacy. This is a US Supreme Court decision, so note that it applies to your state, too. In Dunn, even a perimeter fence and another interior fence were crossed by DEA agents, and the SCOTUS held that this intrusion was perfectly reasonable, and the owner had no reasonable expectation of privacy in those areas.

They can knock on the door if they have official business but they may not walk up to my door in order to conduct any kind of search or surveillance without cause

That is entirely the opposite of the findings of the SCOTUS. The 8th Circuit court stated it this way:

Whether a police officer has commenced a “search” turns not on his subjective intent to conduct a search and seizure, but rather whether he has in fact invaded an area which the defendant harbors a reasonable expectation of privacy (US v REED).

Your porch or approach to the front door is pretty much NEVER considered a private area, and it doesn't matter at all WHY an officer is there. He can be there for any reason or none at all. So your legal theory is not one that is accepted by the courts.

They have NO presumed right or "invitation" to come onto my property at any time, regardless of the presence of any drive or walkway, or even "open house" signs on the front lawn. NONE. It simply doesn't exist.

Sorry, but the courts don't care. Police and LEO are allowed to enter these areas at any time and for any purpose, the entire point being that you do not have any "expectation of privacy" in those areas. Your theory here that they require some "presumed right" to enter those areas is simply not recognized by any court or law enforcement anywhere in the entire country. I'm sorry to be the one to break this to you - it seems you're going to be really upset about it.

At least you found out now, instead of when you tried to actually assert this idea in court or with the police.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321863)

CALIFORNIA v. CIRAOLO has no bearing in my state. I cannot say whether the surveillance laws here are unusual, but if you paid attention at all, it should be obvious they are different here than in California. As I clearly stated, surveillance is illegal without a warrant, completely without regard to whether is being done from a "public" viewpoint. And also without regard to whether it violates the 4th Amendment, as considered in CIRAOLO, since it is a specific, more restrictive State law that does not rely on 4th Amendment for its justification.

Similarly, FLORIDA v. RILEY is also irrelevant because the officer engaged in behavior that is clearly in violation of our state statutes governing surveillance. As I clearly explained. I don't live in Florida.

And finally, US v. DUNN is a decision about a situation that is completely different from what I described, and in fact would not have contradicted the situation that I described, at all. Not only was the situation physically, totally different, but the officers in question already had warrants to be conducting at least some forms of surveillance.

Also, it should be noted that US. v. DUNN directly contradicts the reasoning of the solid minority opinion of the Supreme Court in the recent US v. JONES decision.

"Your porch or approach to the front door is pretty much NEVER considered a private area, and it doesn't matter at all WHY an officer is there. He can be there for any reason or none at all. So your legal theory is not one that is accepted by the courts."

Obviously you do not live in my state. Officers here cannot even go from door to door soliciting donations for their policeman's ball. If they do not have official business on my property or some other kind of valid, legal justification, they cannot enter my property in their capacity as police officers. (An off-duty officer friend of mine could certainly make a social visit, and an on-duty officer can be here if invited. Otherwise no.)

I was witness to this very situation a few years ago, when someone caused a disturbance in the house where I was renting an apartment, and a neighbor called the police. When the police arrived, they found that there was no current disturbance (the party causing the disturbance -- and as I learned much later, a very disturbed party, indeed, but that's not really relevant -- had calmed down).

When they found nothing untoward, and were not given explicit permission to further investigate, although they were suspicious and did not want to leave, they had no choice but to retreat from the property, out to the sidewalk and the street, which was a good 100 feet or more. They hung around a while to make sure there was no further disturbance, but they had to do so OFF THE PROPERTY. Personally I don't blame them for being a bit suspicious, the circumstances were somewhat unusual. But because they had no further specific, legal justification for being on the property, they could not be, by law and had to remove themselves from it. This is not some "legal theory, not ... accepted by the courts", it is the law in this state.

"Sorry, but the courts don't care. Police and LEO are allowed to enter these areas at any time and for any purpose, the entire point being that you do not have any "expectation of privacy" in those areas."

And I repeat: that is simply not so, here. You are generalizing based on some kind of concept of yours, of "national average" or something, which is a questionable legal concept to say the very least. You have cited the laws of 2 OTHER states (in different circuits, no less) and one SCOTUS decision that was about a completely different situation than the one I described as an example, and used those to try to justify your generalizations. At the same time, you have completely ignored my own explanation of our specific state statutes. Sorry, but your attempt to generalize this carries no weight. (Pardon me if I do not quote the exact statutes, but I do not care to advertise my physical location on Slashdot. I will freely state though that I do not -- would not -- live in California or Florida.)

"That is entirely the opposite of the findings of the SCOTUS. The 8th Circuit court stated it this way:"

Whether a police officer has commenced a âoesearchâ turns not on his subjective intent to conduct a search and seizure, but rather whether he has in fact invaded an area which the defendant harbors a reasonable expectation of privacy (US v REED).

If you are qoing to cite SCOTUS, quote SCOTUS, not the 8th Circuit's interpretation of it. Regardless, you have (deliberately?) mischaracterized my statements. What I stated was that the police cannot come onto my property without official business or other legal "cause", according to State statute. My comment about intent was expressing an inescapable logical consequence of that, not a reference to any generalized legal principle about searches or seizures.

"Your theory here that they require some "presumed right" to enter those areas..."

No, you have it completely backward. I do not have any theory about "presumed right". I didn't even express it as some kind of legal theory. On the contrary: I was pointing out that there isn't any. It is YOU who have been presuming (not just presuming in fact but actually stating, if erroneously) that there is a right to enter my property on any grounds. I do not care if it is a concept that is not recognized by any court because it is a concept I was denouncing anyway.

"At least you found out now, instead of when you tried to actually assert this idea in court or with the police."

I have "found out" no such thing. Let's summarize:

[a] You cited decisions from two foreign circuits that do not establish precedent in my own.

[b] You spouted lots of general "concept", such as: "Your porch or approach to the front door is pretty much NEVER considered a private area, and it doesn't matter at all WHY an officer is there. He can be there for any reason or none at all. So your legal theory is not one that is accepted by the courts." without any specific legal citation to back it up. And you have persistently insisted (completely erroneously) that I have been discussing theory rather than statute. Leading to:

[c] You completely ignored my description of specific State statute that directly invalidates your claims, instead citing general court decisions in reference to the 4th Amendment that are irrelevant to such specific, more restrictive on LEO, state statutes. Further:

[d] You cited a SCOTUS decision that does not even remotely apply to the example situation I described. I described a situation with an enclosed yard, all within even commonly accepted (i.e., without regard to this State's specific statute) curtilage, while your SCOTUS decision applied to a situation in which the area in question was exterior to such curtilage. Even if you ignore the State statutes I was describing, this decision simply does not apply to the situation at hand. Fail.

As I say, IANAL, but I am familiar with the law here. I honestly don't know if you are a lawyer, but if you are, I sure as Hell would not hire you. You cited completely irrelevant law -- some probably not authoritative in this circuit even if it had been otherwise relevant -- and two SCOTUS decisions that also had no relevance, while completely ignoring the actual statutes and situation that were under discussion.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39322215)

CALIFORNIA v. CIRAOLO has no bearing in my state.

I was assuming you live in one of the states in the United States of America, since the thread originated with the discussion of the US Constitution.

but if you paid attention at all, it should be obvious they are different here than in California.

I'm supposed to pay attention to laws in some state or other country without you even mentioning where that might be?

As I clearly stated, surveillance is illegal without a warrant, completely without regard to whether is being done from a "public" viewpoint.

You must live in a really strange place (Aruba?) because surveillance is constantly done without a warrant. It's typically a precursor to obtaining probably cause for a warrant.

And also without regard to whether it violates the 4th Amendment, as considered in CIRAOLO, since it is a specific, more restrictive State law that does not rely on 4th Amendment for its justification.

Oh, I see - you're ranting in ignorance. CIRAOLO is a decision from the Supreme Court of the United States. It makes rulings on the Constitutionality of laws and their enforcement throughout the entire country. You see, the defense tried to argue that the police action violated the 4th Amendment, and the Supreme Court of the United States (a.k.a. SCOTUS) said it did not. That ruling, then, applies to ALL states in the United States. Get it?

Similarly, FLORIDA v. RILEY is also irrelevant because the officer engaged in behavior that is clearly in violation of our state statutes governing surveillance. As I clearly explained. I don't live in Florida.

Interesting. Since you seem disinclined to mention which state that may be, I must assume you are correct (probably not, considering, but I'll assume so since I can't check). But that doesn't keep Federal law enforcement (like the DEA) from doing the same thing, since Federal laws have primacy, and since the 30,000 drones authorized recently in the FAA bill will be Federally controlled.

And finally, US v. DUNN is a decision about a situation that is completely different from what I described, and in fact would not have contradicted the situation that I described, at all. Not only was the situation physically, totally different, but the officers in question already had warrants to be conducting at least some forms of surveillance.

Once again, you don't understand the legal theory in question. All it did is define when some areas OUTSIDE of the walls of your house are provided an "expectation of privacy". The answer, in short, is "almost never". It completely covers the situation you described, because police can be anywhere they want to be, and if they want to say they weren't conducting surveillance, all they have to do is say "No, I just happened to be there."

Also, it should be noted that US. v. DUNN directly contradicts the reasoning of the solid minority opinion of the Supreme Court in the recent US v. JONES decision.

No, not really. JONES only said that installing the GPS device AND tracking the car resulted in a technical trespass. Either one of these alone is NOT. They already decided that your yard and porch and environs can be entered without a technical trespass, so it doesn't change anything about the DUNN precedent.

At the same time, you have completely ignored my own explanation of our specific state statutes.

I didn't really ignore it, but your claim is ... incredible. And you've offered no evidence to support it.

What I stated was that the police cannot come onto my property without official business or other legal "cause", according to State statute.

Wait - is that all it says? Really? Well that sounds pretty worthless. "Conducting an investigation" is all that's needed in that case. That doesn't mean they need a warrant. If they want to talk to you, they absolutely can walk up your sidewalk, knock on your door, and check out anything in plain site that they want to - Conducting an investigation is absolutely official business. And, as your description of hanging out on the sidewalk indicates, they can conduct all the surveillance they want, even if it means they are parked across the street 24/7 watching your house.

[a] You cited decisions from two foreign circuits that do not establish precedent in my own.

Incorrect. I cited SCOTUS decisions that apply to every jurisdiction in the United States - SCOTUS is not "foreign" (unless you do not live in the US).

[b] You spouted lots of general "concept", such as: "Your porch or approach to the front door is pretty much NEVER considered a private area, and it doesn't matter at all WHY an officer is there. He can be there for any reason or none at all. So your legal theory is not one that is accepted by the courts." without any specific legal citation to back it up.

The specific legal citation is DUNN. There are others. I'll point them out if you really think I'm making it up.

[c] You completely ignored my description of specific State statute that directly invalidates your claims, instead citing general court decisions in reference to the 4th Amendment that are irrelevant to such specific, more restrictive on LEO, state statutes.

Also incorrect. I ignored something that you made a vague reference to without quoting any language or even the jurisdiction where it applies, because there was nothing there to speak to. Everything I cited were SCOTUS decisions, and not a single general court decision.

[d] You cited a SCOTUS decision that does not even remotely apply to the example situation I described. I described a situation with an enclosed yard, all within even commonly accepted (i.e., without regard to this State's specific statute) curtilage, while your SCOTUS decision applied to a situation in which the area in question was exterior to such curtilage. Even if you ignore the State statutes I was describing, this decision simply does not apply to the situation at hand.

Two of the cases absolutely apply to the 6-foot enclosed property you described, when police used flyovers and helicopters to check out the inside of the yard (and even the inside of buildings within the yard). Even if your supposed state statute would prevent this, they would not apply to Federal LEOs. I don't see any possibly interpretation of the rulings where anyone can claim they "do not apply".

You cited completely irrelevant law

I didn't cite any law at all (and neither did you) I cited SCOTUS court cases interpreting 4th amendment protections. And they are entirely relevant. I still don't get how you can claim they are irrelevant.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323083)

"I was assuming you live in one of the states in the United States of America, since the thread originated with the discussion of the US Constitution."

Pardon me. For some reason I had it in my head that CALIFORNIA v. CIRAOLO was a California state decision. My bad, as far as that goes. However, it is still irrelevant as it uses the 4th amendment as its foundation, and does not address more restrictive State statute.

"You must live in a really strange place (Aruba?) because surveillance is constantly done without a warrant. It's typically a precursor to obtaining probably cause for a warrant."

No, I live in the contiguous 48, and it is NOT "consistently done" here, as I have repeatedly stated, because it is against our State statutes. Your snide remarks do not legal arguments make.

"Oh, I see - you're ranting in ignorance. CIRAOLO is a decision from the Supreme Court of the United States. It makes rulings on the Constitutionality of laws and their enforcement throughout the entire country. You see, the defense tried to argue that the police action violated the 4th Amendment, and the Supreme Court of the United States (a.k.a. SCOTUS) said it did not. That ruling, then, applies to ALL states in the United States. Get it?"

Okay, you have just confirmed that you are not a lawyer, or at least definitely not a competent one. But I am starting to wonder whether you are a dumbshit as well.

NO. Get this through your head: YOU are arguing from dumbassedness. The Supreme Court can rule "A policeman can conduct activity X because it is not against the 4th Amendment" all it wants... and that still HAS NO BEARING on a State statute that more restrictively says "an officer many not conduct activity X, at all", which does NOT rely on the 4th Amendment as its justification. In other words, it is perfectly okay for States to restrict Law Enforcement more than the United States Constitution. If you do not understand THAT, then you have no business pretending to know much of anything about law. Get it? But that is exactly the situation that I very clearly described.

Further, though I also incorrectly thought that Florida v. Riley was a State decision (and I really don't know the cause of such a brain fart, because I did in fact look them up to be sure I knew which cases they were), the situation is nearly identical because it justifies police action on the grounds that it is allowed by the 4th Amendment, but again it has absolutely no relevance to more restrictive State statute. I thought I had already explained that you were using generalizations based on U.S. Constitution to support your arguments, but that they do not apply in regard to State statutes that have nothing whatever to do with the 4th Amendment. But apparently I did not make it sufficiently clear to get the point across to you.

"Once again, you don't understand the legal theory in question. All it did is define when some areas OUTSIDE of the walls of your house are provided an "expectation of privacy". The answer, in short, is "almost never". It completely covers the situation you described, because police can be anywhere they want to be, and if they want to say they weren't conducting surveillance, all they have to do is say "No, I just happened to be there."

You are being quite an ass, you know that? I understand the theory perfectly fine. And the fact remains that DUNN is a decision about curtilage that is CLEARLY in contradiction to the curtilage situation that I described in plain words. I described a residence with a yard enclosed in a 6-foot wood fence. DUNN involved a barn that was OUTSIDE any fence that defined curtilage, according to SCOTUS, including any fence that was around or attached to the house. That is NOT at all the same situation, and DUNN very clearly does not apply to the situation that I described, which was an area that is plainly INSIDE commonly accepted curtilage, including the curtilage that SCOTUS plainly said would have been protected, in that same DUNN decision! You are just plain WRONG here. Your own reference refutes your argument, in so many words!

"No, not really. JONES only said that installing the GPS device AND tracking the car resulted in a technical trespass. Either one of these alone is NOT. They already decided that your yard and porch and environs can be entered without a technical trespass, so it doesn't change anything about the DUNN precedent."

Sheesh. Talk about not understanding! Maybe it's your reading comprehension. I did not state that was the court DECISION, which is what you mention here. I referred to the REASONING put forth by the minority in that decision, as justification for it. And it clearly contradicts DUNN. In fact it contradicts a number of earlier circuit and perhaps even SCOTUS decisions regarding curtilage. Don't blame me for that; I'm not a member of the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, that documented reasoning could be used as a basis for challenging DUNN... if DUNN actually applied in the situation I described at all.

"Wait - is that all it says?"

No, as my earlier statements made perfectly clear, that is NOT "all" it says. Don't cherry-pick things out of context and try to pretend they are the entirety of an argument. While I did not explain in complete detail, I did say they had to either have "official" business (that means business that involves me or my property in some kind of legal proceeding) or probable cause, or -- in some few specific circumstances -- at least reasonable suspicion.

"Incorrect. I cited SCOTUS decisions that apply to every jurisdiction in the United States - SCOTUS is not "foreign" (unless you do not live in the US)."

Yes, you are correct there. Again, I don't know why I had it in my head that these were state cases when I had them right here in front of me. But as I explained, the legal situations they represent have no bearing on more restrictive State statutes, so they are still irrelevant.

"The specific legal citation is DUNN. There are others. I'll point them out if you really think I'm making it up."

Then you should have stated as much. But once again, as I have clearly explained (according to SCOTUS' own plain words in the DUNN decision, not some obscure "legal theory" of mine), that decision has no bearing on the curtilage situation I described in my example. You'll have to try again. Or not, as you please. And as I further explained, even if it had, it is only a 4th Amendment ruling, and has no bearing on State statute.

Granted, that might not prevent a Federal officer from performing acts that are prohibited for State and local LEO. But DUNN involved DEA. It wasn't State or local. But since I *was* discussing State statute, and not the DEA, why bring up DUNN at all? Given the situation that was described in the post to which I was replying (a policeman walking up to the door with a dog with the intent of sniffing but no other cause), and the fact that I mentioned up-front that I was referring to State statute, I think presuming that we are talking about DEA is quite a stretch of the imagination and shifting of the goalposts. I was commenting on what I felt to be more realistic (and local) circumstances.

"Two of the cases absolutely apply to the 6-foot enclosed property you described, when police used flyovers and helicopters to check out the inside of the yard (and even the inside of buildings within the yard)."

FEDERAL police. But once again, I was clearly describing State statute (which you acknowledged earlier, so I have to presume you understood at least that much) which we both know does not, in most circumstances, restrict Federal authorities. So this is not a refutation of my argument at all. And so what, in fact, is your point here? (And why are you apparently insisting that I repeat myself so much before you will get MY point?)

"I didn't cite any law at all..."

And now you upscale the asshole quotient by splitting hairs. You cited Supreme Court decisions, which are considered to be (and de facto are) law. (Again, I was mistaken about 2 of the cases you cited, which I have admitted. I do not mind admitting that I am wrong, when I am actually wrong.)

"I cited SCOTUS court cases interpreting 4th amendment protections. And they are entirely relevant. I still don't get how you can claim they are irrelevant."

Then either you know Fuck All about the law, or you aren't using your brain:

First, I was clearly referring to State statutes, which were (as I also stated clearly) more restrictive on LEO than the 4th Amendment. So a court decision stating that LEO can do something, on the basis that it doesn't violate the 4th Amendment, has no relevance to a more restrictive State statute saying they can't, which is completely unrelated to the 4th Amendment. And if you don't understand that, I strongly urge you to learn why that is so.

Second, your bringing up what Federal authorities can do is also an irrelevant, straw-man argument, because I stated in the beginning that I was discussing STATE STATUTES, which under most circumstances do not restrict Federal authorities anyway! Your bringing Federal authorities and the 4th Amendment into this is shifting the goalposts and straw-man argument, nothing more. I honestly have to wonder what the hell you are thinking.

Just sampling the photons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39316539)

Nothing has intruded into your house.

If you don't want to advertise your activities - stop radiating photons in infra-red, visible, etc. spectrums.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39316541)

Bong water in spray bottles applied to the wheels of police cars could solve that problem ;D.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311103)

Hey, don't ruin our hourly paranoid circlejerk

Da gubmint's out to get us cuz of our free software! RMS for emperor!

Re:It's already been ruled on. (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311501)

More like, "The same group of rights-hating cops who fly helicopters over my house looking for marijuana now want to fly quieter, cheaper drones." Anything that makes violations of our civil rights -- a category which should include the war on drugs as a whole -- easier, cheaper, or in any way more efficient is a bad thing. Constitutional protections have done little to protect people from being charged with drug law violations over feral hemp growing on their land:

http://www.myabc50.com/news/local/story/Attorney-argues-Lisbon-mans-pot-crop-was-actually/O0ZqB3dQhEOVy4uSFyh9dQ.cspx [myabc50.com]

Or worse still, being killed for no reason at all:

http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/drug-war-victim/ [drugwarrant.com]

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311857)

Vote for Harry Tuttle.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39312661)

That's Buttle!

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313425)

OK. The agency will cut you a check, if you sign these forms. And these forms. And these...

Re:It's already been ruled on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39314121)

That it was simply growing on his land is his defense, but come on, Look at the guy. Can he be a bigger hippy?

I would have reported him too. If you grow it for yourself, I don't have as much of an issue, but he was letting kids smoke it, probably even giving it to them. I've heard these stories before, and it's pretty much the trend with potheads. They're not happy just smoking it, they have to evangelize it and force it on everyone, irresponsibly.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39316587)

"evangelize it and force it on everyone" Are you serious, I do not hate people who are against it becuase they are dumb enough to believe the propaganda the US government has continued. I want to see it legal but to sit there and say the diehards want to force people to smoke is silly.

Maybe his kids caught him, or it was obvious to them he was smoking pot. There is nothing wrong with that, however because with youth changes in there bodies and minds are continuing and this can cause problems down the road. Kids see there parents popping pills, and drinking alcohol and mimic them. I would not let my kids smoke until a certain age, and would actually educate them on why you should stay away from prescription drugs and hard street drugs. Instead of feeding them this D.A.R.E scare tactics of falsely using pictures that look like a zombie movie and bullshit stories, they feed them this bullshit over pot, and do the same with the other drugs, the problem becomes once they smoke pot and they know people that smoke, they start to believe other drugs are okay to do. You probably work with someone who uses meth, or heroin, coke, and probably are unaware they are even doing it, they do not fit the "stereo type" picture that idiot police or media use.

This whole idea you have any freedom was always joke, as long as you shut the fuck up, pay taxes, and act like an anal jackass when it comes to laws no matter how stupid they are, yeah sure you are free. One could argue that is way it is the rat race, just an invisible cage. 92% of pot smoked in the US was grown in the US, the whole idea of "war on drugs" is perhaps one of the dumbest sayings in the human race. Rights are a privileges, and at anytime they can be stripped from you over some new law or a loop hole.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39317431)

Of course two can play that game. A few small automated drones with image recognition that find, lock onto, and track police officers and their cars and broadcast live their activities on youtube and position information on google maps as well as where they live and who are their family members are.

Once that starts happening we'll finally have a serious discussion about privacy. (After they try to ban that but find out it's impossible to do so.)

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312843)

Da gubmint's out to get us

I'd say that's pretty likely. Or at the very least, they're corrupt.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (5, Insightful)

BlindRobin (768267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311157)

The right to privacy is not explicit in the constitution but a long held extended interpretation of the fourth amendment prohibition against illegal search and seizure. Laws regarding privacy are, at this point in time, undergoing a great deal of challenge and re-interpretation in state and federal courts. This is not a done deal, the law never is. The Patriot Act and similar less publicized legislation have already eroded this presumptive right and state legislatures around the country are pushing bills targeting privacy issues in the pursuit of various ideological agenda with increasing frequency.

The Ninth Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39316509)

The Ninth Amendment says, "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

But our rights are mostly lost, because the sheep have already been trained to beleive that the government GRANTS rights, when in reality it is supposed to RESPECT and ABIDE by them.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311191)

That won't stop them from trying. This Supreme Court has flagrantly ignored the actual text of the bill of rights in the past, I'll be surprised if they have any trouble ignoring implicitly granted rights as well.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (5, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311327)

Scalia and Thomas, the most conservative members of the court both then and now, both sided with the majority in Kyllo v. US, which held that thermal imaging of a home constitutes a search and requires a warrant. Scalia even wrote the opinion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyllo_v._United_States [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's already been ruled on. (0)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311931)

Scalia and Thomas, the most conservative members of the court both then and now, both sided with the majority in Kyllo v. US, which held that thermal imaging of a home constitutes a search and requires a warrant. Scalia even wrote the opinion.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39314045)

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

QED

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1, Insightful)

ancient_kings (1000970) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312247)

So what?! The constitution is utterly, and completely meaningless nowadays. The point is the police will continue to break the law as there are zero repercussions against them. Heck, they may even get a vacation (paid leave) if found "guilty". Seriously, who WON'T break the law to get free paid vacations all the time? Its human nature. What needs to be done is to throw these "cops" into jail for a very long time, and I'm not talking about champagne cop jail, but the real deal along with the rest of prison population.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39315725)

More to the point, the liberal members were fine with your house being thermal scanned w/o a warrant. Go ahead and vote for Obama if that's what you want.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

ToddInSF (765534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318657)

But what's stopping a private citizen or corporation from using relatively inexpensive IR equipment and telling the police what they've found ?

The cops need a warrant, but I sure don't; I'm just standing on the sidewalk, pointing a fancy IR cam at a house.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311425)

Please site you source.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311483)

*cite *your

Re:It's already been ruled on. (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311233)

but like the smell, they are not peering into your house just measuring the heat coming from your house's direction.

So don't count on this privacy always being the case.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312321)

"They're not spying on your house with telephoto lenses, they're just measuring the the visible light emanating from within!"

Re:It's already been ruled on. (2)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311245)

They have used it.

Had a friend who unfortunately decided to grow his own marijuana a few years ago. The cops found him by helicopter with the use of thermal imaging cameras. It was the best evidence they had when they raided him (he was growing like 5 plants) and arrested him. He was growing for personal use and was able to convince the court of that much and was not sent to prison or anything, but they DID use thermal cameras to find him.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311273)

Should have used LED grow lamps - less heat!

Re:It's already been ruled on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311979)

That's fine for vegetative growth, but they won't flower well under them.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

aurizon (122550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312381)

LED based "grow lights" are perfectly feasible. With LEDs you can tailor make the spectrum for the plants photosynthetic needs, which for pot is full sun anyway.
This wiki link with its charts show that fluorescents beat halogen, but are more complex and costly to install.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grow_light [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311639)

So what's the difference between photons in the infrared range and photons in the optical range? When is a search not a search?

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311993)

Had a friend who unfortunately decided to grow his own marijuana a few years ago. The cops found him by helicopter with the use of thermal imaging cameras. It was the best evidence they had when they raided him (he was growing like 5 plants) and arrested him.

Why would the lamps for a mere five plants generate enough heat to be so obvious to a thermal imaging camera? Something doesn't add up -- for all the cops could tell, maybe he had a few computers in that room.

Also, as others have said, such searches were already ruled illegal without warrants [wikipedia.org] eleven years ago. Perhaps they already knew he was growing, got a warrant, pulled out the IR camera and found a spot that was somewhat hotter than normal and decided to call that evidence and he had a crappy lawyer? Or perhaps he had five plants now, but way more previously?

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

Higgins_Boson (2569429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312585)

Why would the lamps for a mere five plants generate enough heat to be so obvious to a thermal imaging camera? Something doesn't add up -- for all the cops could tell, maybe he had a few computers in that room.

Also, as others have said, such searches were already ruled illegal without warrants [wikipedia.org] eleven years ago. Perhaps they already knew he was growing, got a warrant, pulled out the IR camera and found a spot that was somewhat hotter than normal and decided to call that evidence and he had a crappy lawyer? Or perhaps he had five plants now, but way more previously?

Nah, he only had the 5 plants. But that was the evidence as presented in court. They did a flyover his area and noticed an unusual "heat signature" which was very different from the months prior to his installing the lights and growing the plants.

I realize it is illegal and all, but since when does that stop police from doing something? Remember, most of them are above the law and can do what they want... and typically have the support of the lower courts.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39316173)

He should have mounted C7 Christmas lights shaped like the finger on the underside of his roof.

protected by the constitution (2)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311277)

For now.

All that needs to happen is another case going before a differently populated supreme court and they can change the ruling. Then refuse to hear anymore cases on the issue.

Besides, all they have to do is pull out the 'terrorism' card and our rights are negated.

Re:protected by the constitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311329)

I seem to recall some wiggle room was left with regard to the idea that thermal imaging was not a commonly known technology at that point, but that once it became generally used it could become acceptable. Not the least bit reassuring for privacy rights.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311313)

http://hightimes.com/news/ht_admin/1598 Seems you may be mistaken.

Cops cannot use thermal imaging to see inside without a warrant. What you saw on Weeds was just a TV show.

The walls of your house create an expectation of privacy, and that privacy is protected by the constitution.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39320865)

The walls of your house create an expectation of privacy,

True.

and that privacy is protected by the constitution.

Um, no it's not. Please re-read Amendment 9 again. There is nothing in the Constitution that specifically guarantees a right to privacy. It's implied of course (Amendment 9), but the cops & the courts have been ignoring the hell out of 'implied rights' lately. By this theory, I have the 'right' to demand the government support me from cradle to the grave on the grounds that my 'inalienable rights' include, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So far, the government has been pretty good at ignoring them in my case.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312023)

The walls of your house create an expectation of privacy, and that privacy is protected by the constitution.

Yeah, the thought police will respect that.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39312111)

I know this is the US but hear in the UK this has already happened to me, Due to a sever and PC been in my loft (attic) and switched on 24/7 the local police helicopter picked up the heat source. We was raided as they thought we where cultivating cannabis. The UK doesn't know the meaning of the word privacy.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312897)

Be glad you're in the UK. If the cops had found a server farm in your attic in the US, they would have arrested you for illegally sharing files.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

berrance (1843792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313015)

All they would have found on the server is my Music, DVD/Blu ray and photo collection been shared around my house. All of which I can provide the original copies of, which are also in the loft.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313179)

It's not connected to the internet is it? And btw, RIAA considers format shifting to be copyright infringement. You're supposed to rebuy your digital copies.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

berrance (1843792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313241)

Format shifting is legal in the UK (I think).

Re:It's already been ruled on. (3, Funny)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313735)

It's not so much in the US. Expect to be deported shortly.

how is babby formed (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39316989)

You're bluffing. In the UK people speak English.

Re:It's already been ruled on. (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313311)

In an over the top police state, "they" can (and do) any damn thing "they" fucking well please! And if you put up a fight you WILL be killed by the police or in somewhat rare(er) cases the executive can (legally now) order your assassination!

Where did you think you live, America? Oh WAIT!

Re:It's already been ruled on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39319281)

Yes you are correct I think it was a question answered by the supreme court in something like 2005, it caused a conviction to be kicked out as I recall due to no admissible evidence

False positives (4, Funny)

overshoot (39700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311025)

I am sooooo looking forward to my new house with the "potting" room where I can have grow lamps. Getting no-knock raids in the middle of the night where the narcs find absolutely bupkis is funny enough, but it can't be that hard to come up with extracts that drive drug-sniffing dogs wild. Just a squirt here and there around the neighborhood ...

Re:False positives (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311097)

Or a dog in heat.

Or a few skunks wandering around - dogs just love to run after them thinking they're just funny-looking cats.

Or a porcupine or two - just to make a point or 10.

Or a bag of dirty diapers.

Re:False positives (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311129)

You in the USA only joke, this is already happening in the UK
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3345742/Drug-police-strike-guinea-pig-cage.html

Re:False positives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311383)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHmP_KtmcB4

Re:False positives (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311281)

May I suck on your plump titties? I've sucked on many a tittie in my day, since I was born in fact, and I believe that I can deliver to you the best titty-sucking experience. My technique is called the "nom-nom nibble."

The bigger, the better, I like to say...

Captcha: Baboon. I'm one titty-suckin' Baboooooooooon! OO! OO! Booga-BOOGA!

Re:False positives (1)

elewton (1743958) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311181)

Only the Daily Mail for reference, but...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1092230/How-garden-moss-smells-like-cannabis-attracted-police-raid-pensioners--local-drug-gang.html [dailymail.co.uk]

In all seriousness, though, they might just plant a baggy on your property. Good luck.

Baggy plants (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311291)

In all seriousness, though, they might just plant a baggy on your property. Good luck.

That's why I'd be doing my tomcat imitation and spraying the neighborhood. Including the Mayor's house.

Re:Baggy plants (1)

jasno (124830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312237)

I always wondered why the cartels don't do that at border crossings... they've got tons of pot, why not make an extract and spray it on cars as they're waiting in line to cross?

Re:Baggy plants (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312845)

I'm surprised the cartels don't import coke and heroin with drones or RC planes.

Re:Baggy plants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39313243)

Who says they don't. The majority of an ultralight aircraft is not radar reflective. They use those:
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/19/local/la-me-border-ultralight-20110520

I'd imagine there are tiny little planes flying back and forth undetected as we speak with a couple kilos apiece.

Re:Baggy plants (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39316803)

Wow. That's pretty brilliant. With a 100% hit rate, enforcement for pot would become completely impractical.

Re:False positives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39312575)

I wouldn't be so gung-ho about that. If the cops can't find anything they'll likely just plant something on you and arrest you for that.

Re:False positives (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39315075)

The whole being accidentally shot dead could be a bit of a bummer though.

Thermal imaging unconstitutional (pre-9/11) (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311033)

Kyllo v. United States [wikipedia.org] ruled that thermal imaging into a home without a warrant is unconstitutional. However, that decision was pre-9/11.

now on DVD! (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311115)

Your neighbors gone wild! Awesome bedroom footage from above!

Need pest control (2)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311117)

Sounds like they need to come out with that laser based pest (mosquito) control sooner than later.

"Oops I'm sorry officer but it keeps getting getting flying cock roaches and your surveillance quad copter mixed up and burning a hole through it."

As far as "seeing" in your house the police using IR cameras to spy on you will just motivate everyone that much more to go green faster and heavily insulate their homes making those cameras pretty much useless for spying. Personally I'd rather have them us IR for patrolling so maybe we can finally get rid of the rediculous amount of outdoor lighting we have everywhere in the city.

Re:Need pest control (2)

ultranova (717540) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311359)

As far as "seeing" in your house the police using IR cameras to spy on you will just motivate everyone that much more to go green faster and heavily insulate their homes making those cameras pretty much useless for spying.

Actually, wouldn't you want to alternate very heat-conductive layers with insulating ones? Heat-conducting layers blur the thermal image, and the heat insulating ones dim it.

Also, you'd want a ground-based heat pump to mask the amount of total heat.

Re:Need pest control (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39316819)

Or... you set up enough computers to establish a heat and electrical usage signature for your house/the room.

Then you wait a six months to year, then start growing.

With the new LED's and CFL's, it just seems unlikely you would attract attention for a closet.

When I retire, I'll probably grow and use. Lot healthier than booze which is my current option. And you don't have to smoke, you can cook with pot butter, make chocolate candy, etc. Right now random work drug tests prevent the possibility.

K2 was a possibility but it was made illegal and also had a friend's relative smoke a lot of it (like 20 bags in 2 weeks) and go wacko. Docs say the relative is probably permanently wacko. Strange "beautiful mind" type wacko with murderous and suicidal writings on the walls of their closet.

Re:Need pest control (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39320933)

When I retire, I'll probably grow and use. Lot healthier than booze which is my current option. And you don't have to smoke, you can cook with pot butter, make chocolate candy, etc. Right now random work drug tests prevent the possibility.

I remember hearing a few years back, can't remember where or when, but it was WAY pre-9/11, that the largest growing segment of crack addicts were retired males because their 'girlfriends' were cracked up and got them strung out, too. Dunno if there's any truth to it, but I wouldn't be surprised to see random drug testing to qualify you for your Social Security check someday, considering the government is bitching so much about having to pay out all that money they collected over all those years when they have a couple perfectly good wars to burn it on...

Or we could just eliminate drug laws. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311123)

Eliminating the incentive for predatory government agencies to spy on us may be more effective, and wouldn't have the same chilling effect on emerging technologies.

Re:Or we could just eliminate drug laws. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311393)

We can't have people growing this stuff for themselves. They might take some and, due to the inherit madness inducing chemicals contained therein, go on a mad rampage. Haven't you seen reefer madness? People might think they can fly and jump off a building, or, or they might consider war isn't the answer to everything! Or even vote independent! We can't have that, it would destroy the fabric of our society. And kids need society. Why won't you just think of the children!!!!

Re:Or we could just eliminate drug laws. (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311439)

Government agencies always want to spy on us; drug laws are simply an excuse to do so, as is terrorism, child pornography scares, and so forth. The real goal is to expand the power of the executive, a trend that we have observed for many years in this country. That is why the Controlled Substances Act allows the attorney general's office to unilaterally declare drugs to be illegal. That is why police forces can recycle seized assets into their own budgets. That is why we have paramilitary police at all levels of government, signals intelligence vans, the use of NORAD for law enforcement purposes, the TSA, the latest NDAA "let's just skip due process" bill, etc., etc., etc.

Politicians, and especially the president, gain power by trading favors with other powerful people. It is pretty hard to repay those people when your power is limited by the law, and so we see the weakening of legal protections of our basic rights and the strengthening of the government's power over us. Since most people will willingly submit to these abuses -- and have been trained to be submissive by the education system in this country -- any effort to thwart these attacks is severely disadvantaged.

precedent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311127)

If these drones ar eused for surveillance (sp? FF Spell ehck doesn't work on Linux) there is a precedent:
Kyllo v. United States [wikipedia.org]

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the thermal imaging of Kyllo's home constituted a search. Since the police did not have a warrant when they used the device, which was not commonly available to the public, the search was presumptively unreasonable and therefore unconstitutional. The majority opinion argued that a person has an expected privacy in his or her home and therefore, the government cannot conduct unreasonable searches, even with technology that does not enter the home. Justice Scalia also discussed how future technology can invade on one's right of privacy and therefore authored the opinion so that it protected against more sophisticated surveillance equipment. As a result, Justice Scalia asserted that the difference between “off the wall” surveillance and “through the wall” surveillance was non-existent because both methods physically intruded upon the privacy of the home. Scalia created a “firm but also bright” line drawn by the Fourth Amendment at the “‘entrance to the house’”.[1]

Harass the innocent! (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311165)

Soon, every aspiring American entrepreneur running a server farm can get busted for growing pot [slashdot.org] , and every Canadian's with hot tubs and pools [theglobeandmail.com] can get charged massive fees.

Cost Prohibitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311209)

the problem is most police forces can't put people in their cars and on the streets let alone scrape together the money to purchase, train users and follow-up on all that a drone will pull in. Military aid is out due to posse comitats [sp] and there is a difference between flying a drone around wide open Iraq and downtown Chicago.

Re:Cost Prohibitive (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311269)

Just raise taxes to pay for it. That's how things like this work. Its 'for your protection' remember.

Re:Cost Prohibitive (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312781)

Police forces are getting more militarized by the day. Drones are just the next step. Financing is through the Feds, or by confiscation.

Of course, confiscation works better in a reasonably working economy. These days, auctioning off a siezed 'drug house' is almost useless. Nobody has the money to buy it, unless they can turn it into a strip mall.

Slingshot skill honing time (2)

GabriellaKat (748072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311239)

Guess its time to practice my slingshot skills!

Re:Slingshot skill honing time (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311477)

Thus resulting in charges of:
  1. Obstruction of justice
  2. Vandalism
  3. Destruction of government property
  4. Terrorism
  5. Aiding and abetting crime
  6. Resisting arrest
  7. Illegal discharge of a weapon (yes, really, a slingshot is in the same category as a firearm in some jurisdictions)

...and so forth. How dare you try to protect your privacy from an invasive government? The proper thing to do is to go to court and pay a lawyer to protect your rights, until you are bankrupt.

Re:Slingshot skill honing time (1)

GabriellaKat (748072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39315333)

The proper thing to do would to not be caught. I'm equally sure the neighborhood kids will find them just as amusing to fire at with BB guns as a squirrel. Not to mention gang members getting their target practice in on them. I see this as eventually being more expensive in equipment repair/recovery/replacement then they are budgeted.

Yeah, sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311261)

Until private citizens start building their own and start observing what the elite are doing. Suddenly, there will be laws against it.

i guess the FBI will have some more work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311355)

All those shootgun's need a permit...

(oh slashdot, you're kiddin', my captcha is "caliber"...?)

They're using dogs on the roofs of SUVs now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39311405)

I saw what looked like a Secret Service agent step out of one - he was wearing a $3000 suit. Then he started talking about trees being the right height here.

Stree View (1)

jvillain (546827) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311491)

So Street View is a problem and an invasion of privacy. But flying over head taking pictures might not be? All that has to happen is Google puts their logo on the side of a drone and Microsoft will get their politicians to make using drones illegal. Problem solved.

Privacy Anachronism (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311829)

Privacy has been gradually disappearing since civilization began. It will continue, obviously, as technology makes surveillance ubiquitous. The issue is not the privacy of the surveyed but the privacy of the surveyor. If anyone can see who is seeing them, then privacy becomes bilateral and, perhaps, mute. Of course, it will not happen suddenly. However, old age, death, and new life have a way of introducing acceptance of change.

On the other hand, if you feel that 'big brother' is silently watching your every move, then you must have a huge ego.

Re:Privacy Anachronism (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39311943)

On the other hand, if you feel that 'big brother' is silently watching your every move, then you must have a huge ego.

I find this statement to be pretty interesting. Google certainly does monitor all the email you send, for advertising purposes (but will fork it over when law enforcement presents a court order). Facebook monitors even more details of most people's lives, and is not going to take a stand against government requests for information. Big brother is watching everyone; the government just has not figured out how best to use the flood of information to its advantage (and the friendly relationship between the government and corporations makes it hard to distinguish between corporate invasions of privacy and government invasions).

Even totalitarian states do not take action on every single piece of information that they are aware of. The point of governments collecting information on citizens is not to target everyone, it is to maintain government power by spotting potential dissidents before their movements grow to "dangerous" sizes. The struggle for privacy is a struggle for power; privacy rights are fundamental to individual empowerment and democracy.

So is big brother going to come after you because of your secret affair? Of course not. Is big brother going to release information about your secret affair when you start talking about changing the social order, reducing political corruption, or working for the benefit of the common people? It is not unthinkable that such a thing could happen.

Re:Privacy Anachronism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39312105)

Privacy has been gradually disappearing since civilization began.

Not really true. People had even less privacy than they do now back in the caveman days, and most of civilization has really been privacy going up and up - if you were a 19th century factory worker, neither your employer nor your government nor anyone else really cared to find out about your private life. It's only recently that things are coming full circle again.

Re:Privacy Anachronism (4, Insightful)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312857)

On the other hand, if you feel that 'big brother' is silently watching your every move, then you must have a huge ego.

You don't need to be personally paranoid to realize that the worry is not necessarily constant active surveillance by 'big brother', rather that by making virtually every facet of your life recordable, the authorities will now have the ultimate version of Cardinal Richelieu's proverbial "six lines written by the most honorable of men". I don't think anyone is watching me nor would they have any reason to, but I can honestly say the way things are going would make me far less likely to, for example, become publicly active in a controversial political cause.

Re:Privacy Anachronism (3, Insightful)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313259)

The issue is not the privacy of the surveyed

I think that's a big problem.

On the other hand, if you feel that 'big brother' is silently watching your every move, then you must have a huge ego.

More like the government could be watching your every move. Or someone else's moves. I don't only care about myself, you know.

I care about privacy not only because I and many others enjoy it, but because it helps keep corrupt governments from suddenly creating ridiculous laws to criminalize previously innocent citizens. If they could watch everyone, then it gives them the ability to easily see whether someone is doing something that they recently declared illegal and enables them to silence dissenters far more easily.

But of course, my country's government would never do that! Out of all the corrupt governments throughout history, mine is special and cannot be corrupted!

Re:Privacy Anachronism (1)

jdogalt (961241) | more than 2 years ago | (#39314997)

MOD PARENT UP, WAY UP!

""On the other hand, if you feel that 'big brother' is silently watching your every move, then you must have a huge ego.""

"More like the government could be watching your every move. Or someone else's moves. I don't only care about myself, you know."

THIS. F-N THIS YOU "you have a big ego" ASSHOLES

Oh... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39312917)

If only we had some MAGICAL FORM OF GOVERNMENT whereby the people, if the were not OK with something, could have laws passed to prevent it! Too bad we just have to stand around and wring our hands helplessly while shit happens!

How about this? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39313073)

Instead of sinking billions more into the failed war on drugs so that they can have even more toys, we just end the failed attempt at prohibition, stop looking for a criminal solution, and start treating the problem like the medical / social issue it is.

That's right. Legalize everything. Spend a couple billion to set up treatment centers for addiction, allow pharmacies to distribute safe products appropriately, and take the money out of the hands of criminal organizations and law enforcement entirely.

Before you start with the "think of the children" arguments. Realize that it's easier for your kids to get illegal drugs now than it is for them to get beer or cigarettes. That's how effective the war on drugs has been. And I come from a country bumpkin community. Everything I could have wanted was readily available in my middle school. I didn't even have to get to high school before I knew who to chat up for stuff like that had I been interested. Your kids aren't going to suddenly become junkies because they have access to drugs. They already have that access if they want it. The problem is already there. And for the most part they're not interested unless they have other problems in their lives.

The current solution is grossly ineffective and extraordinarily expensive at the same time. It's time to stop beating a dead horse and move on to a solution that's been proven to work.

Re:How about this? (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 2 years ago | (#39321259)

The current solution is grossly ineffective and extraordinarily expensive at the same time. It's time to stop beating a dead horse and move on to a solution that's been proven to work.

Where is the proof? Here's the list of actual causes of death in the US (in order, likely only "preventable" but my pocket reference doesn't specify):

Tobacco, Poor diet and exercise, Alcohol, Microbial agents, Toxic agents, Motor vehicle, Firearms, Sexual behavior, Illicit drug use

If you wanted to be technical, alcohol probably contributes to many of the others (especially firearms and MVAs), so it's probably a little underestimated. The striking point is that the legalized drugs are two of the top three causes of death (perhaps all three if you include caffeine, although that's a bit of a stretch). And this is just one component of their overall cost to society.

Thus, as legalization seems ineffective for alcohol and tobacco, I'm curious as to why other substances would be different. I'm libertarian leaning by nature (and thus conflicted over this), but have always had problems with people being "free" to imbibe substances that are well known to rob you of your freedom.

Money, money, money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39313693)

I can see a whole new field for creative entrepreneurs: systems to detect, catch, interfere, control, intercept, or trap these obnoxious devices. Millions might be out there waiting for you!

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