Surveillance

'Accidental' Subjects of Tracking Seek Standing To Challenge Police

Cops say, "no way," cuz they didn't mean to target you

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When we fret over surveillance and tracking by government agencies — the techniques they use and the policies and legal protections that govern snooping — we usually think in terms of making sure the powers-that-be cross their "t"s and dot their "i"s before going after their intended targets. Increasingly, though, surveillance scoops up far more people than just the person named on the warrant or subpoena (assuming such a piece of paper is even involved). But the legal status of such collateral subjects of scrutiny isn't clearly defined. That has the Electronic Frontier Foundation arguing before a Massachusetts court that a man tracked by police (and subsequently charged with crimes) when he was riding in the vehicle of the actual target of a surveillance operation should be recognized as having standing to challenge the use of a GPS device and the evidence thereby gathered.