January 12, 2005 11:00 AM PST

Snooping by satellite

When Robert Moran drove back to his law offices in Rome, N.Y., after a plane trip to Arizona in July 2003, he had no idea that a silent stowaway was aboard his vehicle: a secret GPS bug implanted without a court order by state police.

Police suspected the lawyer of ties to a local Hells Angels Motorcycle Club that was selling methamphetamine, and they feared undercover officers would not be able to infiltrate the notoriously tight-knit group, which has hazing rituals that involve criminal activities. So investigators stuck a GPS, or Global Positioning System, bug on Moran's car, watched his movements, and arrested him on drug charges a month later.

A federal judge in New York ruled last week that police did not need court authorization when tracking Moran from afar. "Law enforcement personnel could have conducted a visual surveillance of the vehicle as it traveled on the public highways," U.S. District Judge David Hurd wrote. "Moran had no expectation of privacy in the whereabouts of his vehicle on a public roadway."

News.context

What's new:
Police agencies are making inroads in using GPS technology to track suspects--without getting court approval first.

Bottom line:
As more courts side with police over privacy, critics say GPS can reveal too much and should require strict judicial oversight.

More stories on this topic

Last week's court decision is the latest to grapple with the slippery subject of how to reconcile traditional notions of privacy and autonomy with increasingly powerful surveillance technology. Once relegated, because of their cost, to the realm of what spy agencies could afford, GPS tracking devices now are readily available to jealous spouses, private investigators and local police departments for just a few hundred dollars.

Not all uses are controversial. Trucking outfits use GPS boxes to keep track of their drivers' locations, and companies sell software to dispatchers that instantly calculates which taxi is closest to a customer. OnStar uses GPS tracking to provide roadside assistance to owners of many General Motors vehicles.

What's raising eyebrows, though, is the increasingly popular law enforcement practice of secretly tagging Americans' vehicles without adhering to the procedural safeguards and judicial oversight that protect the privacy of homes and telephone conversations from police abuses.

"I think they should get court orders," said Lee Tien, staff counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "We're in a world where more and more of our activities can be viewed in public and, perhaps more importantly, be correlated and linked together."

"We're in a world where more and more of our activities can be viewed in public and...be correlated and linked together."
--Lee Tien, staff counsel, EFF

GPS devices work by listening for radio signals from satellites and calculating how long the signals take to arrive.

The result of that calculation provides a highly accurate estimation of latitude and longitude. Depending on the type of GPS tracker, that information is beamed back to an eavesdropper's computer through the cellular network or quietly recorded and divulged when the device is retrieved a few days or weeks later.

Voluntarily agreeing to automotive GPS tracking can be a bargain for some consumers. Progressive Casualty Insurance began a pilot project

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40 comments

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my word
I think New York should make a law saying there should be a law saying there should be a judge's order before allowing police to track you with GPS.
Posted by feedbackuser5 (25 comments )
Reply Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
Our INVINCIBLE Government
I think that the government shouldn't be allowed to do this type of thing, because the government abuses it's priviledges just as much as society. If they continue this type of thing there are going to be groups forming to take over the government and our entire country will be in havoc. They think they are INVINCIBLE and right now they do have more power than society but if they **** society off they need to remember there is more people in society than there is in the government. Anyway what you do to others will be done to you. Many people don't believe this because the result doesn't happen immediately. As for me I like to just stand back and watch it all unfold.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
The Cure
The cure for 1984 is 1776.
Posted by nealda (105 comments )
Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
So people can tag police cars!
So by using the same logic people can tag police cars without their knowledge...
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Reply Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
Heck of a lawyer
I personally know the lawyer involved. He is very successful in upstate NY. The article fails to reveal that he only received 29 days of rehab for the trace amount of drugs found on his persons at the time of arrest. As a goverment employee, which uses GPS and GIS computer mapping. I don't feel this is the proper use of a powerfull technology. Lets keep the privilage of technology to what it is intended and designed for. Funny us, we allways thought as an american that we had some freedom. Aren't we silly.
Posted by Water911 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
Tampering
Where I live, tampering with a vehicle is a crime. Any modifications to a vehicle without the owner's permission is a punishable offense. If the police committed a crime to track this suspect then whatever evidence they obtained was obtained illegally. It seems like that would be the avenue to pursue to defend against this.
Posted by nealda (105 comments )
Reply Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
Communism at is best
"The man who would choose security over freedom deserves neither."
- Thomas Jefferson
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Correction
Communism has nothing to do with the discussion.

At least true communism doesnt where by natural resources are distributed evenly among all people and it is their right to have their fair share.

But you must be speaking of the bastardized version that has been so prevailant through the ages where the government owns everything and doles it out as they see fit.

That seems more like an elaborate monarchy to me but thats just me.

Not that I disagree with your point. In fact I do.

I just hate it when people use it as a swear word when the world has never seen true communism which is arguably more free than capitalism.
Posted by Fray9 (547 comments )
Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
No fear.
If you are involved in criminal activity, all means should be used to apprehend you. I have no fear of unwarrented arrest. Illegal activity surely limits my rights.
Posted by dalton_davis53 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
wrongheaded
In order for us to live in a free society, everyone must live under the same rules. Even some scum sucking criminal must be afforded the same rights as a law abiding person. Otherwise, no one is free.

As for your comment about having no fear, please take your head out of the sand. People are wrongly accused and convicted quite often. You are in extreme denial if you think it can't happen to you.

It is people like you who are allowing the government to take away our right systematically. You are what is wrong with america today.
Posted by (242 comments )
Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
But what if...?
But what if a crooked police department were to put a GPS on a car and then have a co-operative individual drive it places while the owner slept peacefully at home, and then accuse the owner of having gone somewhere incriminating? (ooohh nooo, that could not possibly happen heeeerrrreeee in Amerrrica... oooohhh nooooo.......)
Posted by (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
isn't what you describe called "Grand Theft Auto"?
Posted by markumus (2 comments )
Link Flag
Undoc Yourself
Let's all take a lesson from the millions of our Mexican brethern who come to pay us a surprise visit and become undocumented. It has a lot of benefits. So far as I can tell nowdays, there is no benefit to being a documented person.

From Max Hedroom, episode 6.
Blanks 5/5/87. The "Blanks" are the invisible people, the ones who don't appear on any computer records. Simon Peller, newly elected city official, is doing his best to put them all in prison and the Blanks, in return, are doing their best to wreck the entire computer network, which doesn't exactly endear them to the now-TV-less general public.
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Reply Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
You have no privacy, no rights, and the Bill of Rights is DEAD!
You didn't really think that you had any privacy left, did you? Never heard of the US Patriot Act?

Here: www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/usapatriot

They don't even have to tell you if they go into your house and take things, anymore, or serve you with a search warrant.

People have been warning you about your vanishing privacy for decades.

Those like James Bovard wrote rather eye-opening books like "Shakedown: How the Government Screws You from A to Z" and "Lost Rights : The Destruction of American Liberty". Robert Ellis Smith wrote another good one called "Our Vanishing Privacy : And What you Can Do to Protect Yours".

Yet there's idiots who willingly give out their Social Security Numbers here in the US to practically everybody, even stores, just to get discounts on their products.

Guess they don't realize that you can't change your SSN, and it can be used to get credit cards in your name and services like utlities. Once that number gets out, you're screwed for life! Want to see how easy it is to get this information? Go to an information broker. LOL Cnet itself did a segment on them once with Richard Hart.

Haven't been to the library lately? How about the music store?

Try one of Jello Biafra's 'spoken word' albums. You'll hear about all kinds of things you'll never hear the mainstream news media tell you about.

As for the Bill of Rights, itself; I don't think that any of them have survived intact, and several of them, if taken in the spirit that Thomas Jefferson intended would be deemed illegal now.

This may give you a clue: www.cyberwolfman.com/quotes.htm

Even the 13th Amendment (the one regarding slavery) is only good for toilet paper, now. They allow groups to promote slavery in chat programs all over the Internet. Don't believe me? Try looking for things in them like gor and gorean. They've virtually taken over the 3D chat programs, too.

Don't bother complaining to the FBI about slavery, though. Many of us already have, and with no results, or replies to our letters. Don't think they care as long as it's not in the mainstream news media. If it's not, it might as well not exist.

Can't wait until you guys find out about the roboflies... The stuff in the sci-fi books like Neal Stephenson's "The Diamond Age" are being created in the labs right now.

But I've already got my own little 'eye on the world' (www.cyberwolfman.com/vidfeeds.jpg). ;-)
Posted by CyberWoLfman (47 comments )
Reply Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
Mac Mini....interesting huh?
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.FreeMiniMacs.com/?r=13956630" target="_newWindow">http://www.FreeMiniMacs.com/?r=13956630</a>
Posted by (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
ip phone multicasting... gprs jamming
the revolution will be broadcast, and anonymous...... there are various mods around for jaming gprs broadcasts that are often used to transmit gps cordinates... I have even experienced some cellphone mods for disrupting wifi connections here in honolulu... gprs triangulation has been used quite extensivly as well as the gps devices... I would like to see some bluetooth scripts for automatically putting our phones in "flight mode" or blocking the transmition all together when we hop into a car or something.. similiar to the bluetooth ring concept... but allowing us to "pop-up on the radar" when we are ready to recieve calls.. takes away from the possiblity of meeting suprises when arriving somewhere, especially when overseas.. lol... <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.gps-practice-and-fun.com/index.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.gps-practice-and-fun.com/index.html</a>

stop the civil war!!
Posted by (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
Snooping goes on in this country, because snooping is being allowed. There should be a regulation on satellite surveillance, so that individuals are not victimized by satellites. Satellites can not only be used in gps systems in this country, but a satellite can be used to do human thought monitoring and neurophone harassment. There is no justification for harassment in this country.
A good website to check on this is surveillanceissues.com
Posted by 412krishna (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
i have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
have heard and witnessed alot of negative things this past year.could it be that what a goverment started has become a realatie in soceity and family.My x family has been using the same sort of tactics to show me unfit to handle a gift from a family trust.They have gone so far as to have me encarserated. Please help me with how to handle this.They are using metheds that terrosist have used in the past.I have been hurting my self weekly with blows to the head with a hamer.not to mention i have a liver leasion and i can not stop drinking because they have been sending messages through ? ??/? not sure? but it seams like radio freqs or satalite waves or somthing.Im begging for help.I cant stop this 24/7 communication in my mind. do you have a number or can you help me? i have done nothing to deserve this and they will not stop.please help me laura wood
Posted by laurawood (15 comments )
Link Flag
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Posted by hfhongxia (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
How about a few police. Illicit sex.. Incest...Using Gov Equip to destroy victims &#38; witnesses of such. Using satellite to hack numerous victims computers &#38; harass with audio injection of death threats? on streaming audio &#38; ANY audio file on the computer. This is going on today now! Just a fraction of it go to Utube search cutdeep46 listen to the ?Higgins? file. I turned in incest over 11 years ago &#38; I am getting death threats from COPS???? Using YOUR tax dollar to promote incest &#38; personal agenda of course. I have ?GIGS? of proof of this ?In their voices?
Fight for your children!
Posted by cutdeep46 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
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Posted by triathlonbike (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
While this subject clearly seems to have brought out the nut jobs, it is important that we do not allow government to be involved in our lives any more than absolutely required and keep in mind that government exists to serve the people, not the other way around! One good way for police to use GPS tracking is to monitor police cars and stop them from speeding on our public roadways without lights and siren on and endangering me, you and our families. No use of tracking should be undertaken with the knowledge and consent of those being tracked.
Posted by markumus (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I think the public should get to track where cops are at all times. There is never one around when you need one.
Posted by feddupwithcops (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
what the **** camera lights action ass holes
Posted by laurawo (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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