Rutherford Institute Urges Supreme Court to Rule That Prolonged, Warrantless Spying by Police Using Hidden Cameras Is an Illegal Search | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Rutherford Institute Urges Supreme Court to Rule That Prolonged, Warrantless Spying by Police Using Hidden Cameras Is an Illegal Search

Challenging attempts by the government to carry out around-the-clock, year-long, warrantless surveillance on Americans, The Rutherford Institute and the Cato Institute have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to find that the use of hidden cameras mounted on utility poles, aimed at private homes, and used to record activity at the home violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against warrantless, unreasonable searches. The amicus brief in Travis Tuggle v. U.S. disputes a lower court ruling that the use of hidden cameras on a utility pole for prolonged spying on a private residence does not constitute a search under the Fourth Amendment. Although the court reasoned that no “search” had occurred since the cameras recorded activity that took place in public view, civil liberties advocates contend that such expansive surveillance, enabled by technology that can reveal one’s visitors, when one comes and goes, and other intimate details of daily life, is exactly the kind of unreasonable intrusion that the Fourth Amendment was intended to prevent.

Jim Harper with TechLaw at the University of Arizona College of Law helped advance the arguments in the amicus brief.

“At one time, the idea of a total surveillance state tracking one’s every move would have been abhorrent to most Americans,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “Unfortunately, we have gone from being a nation where privacy is king to one where nothing is safe from the prying eyes of government. Still, that doesn’t mean the government can sidestep the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement through the use of hidden cameras which, coupled with cutting edge technologies, lays bare every detail of our lives.”

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