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Group calls for checks on police GPS tracking

Washington, US: A group consisting of former FBI leaders and members of the Drug Enforcement Administration has called to curb the excessive use of GPS by police to track the movements of suspects.

The group has demanded law enforcement agencies should obtain a warrant before installing tracking devices on any vehicle and should also obtain a search warrant for a surveillance that lasts for more than 24 hours.

A member of the group, Patricia Wald, the former chief judge on the federal appeals court in Washington, said the debate over GPS tracking is “one instance of the much broader problem of regulating new technology.’’

The report is being issued by the group’s liberty and security committee in advance of the Supreme Court’s consideration of the issue in November. It says it recognizes the usefulness of tracking technologies, “but the government should not have unchecked discretion to electronically track anyone, anywhere, at any time without cause.’’

The Obama administration says warrants would hamper law enforcement investigations and aren’t needed because the surveillance monitors movements on public streets.

Source: Associated Press