Tuesday, January 29, 2013

EFF files amicus arguing for passengers to have standing in GPS surveillance cases

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed an amicus brief before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in an attempt to persuade the court that passengers should be given standing to challenge the use of GPS data acquired from devices on vehicles.

Before the court are two cases related to GPS surveillance - Commonwealth v. Rousseau and Commonwealth v. Dreslinksi. The court defined the issues as:

whether an affidavit demonstrated sufficient probable cause in support of an application for a warrant secretly to attach a GPS device to a motor vehicle and to monitor tracking information; whether a passenger has standing to challenge the evidence seized as a result of such monitoring; whether a passenger in a vehicle to which a GPS device is attached is either "seized" or "searched" to the same extent as the driver or the vehicle itself.
In its brief, the EFF makes three basic arguments. First, the reasonable expectation of privacy is the same for drivers and passengers. Second, the lack of a possessory interest does not deprive the passenger. Finally, a state law theory gives defendants automatic standing when GPS surveillance is involved.


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