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The Champion

December 2011 , Page 7 

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Will 2012 Be a Defining Year For Privacy in America? (Inside NACDL)

By Norman L. Reimer

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The GPS Case and the Future of the Darkness on the Edge of Town

Presidential election years always have the potential to define the future. Political polarization remains at a high level as 2011 winds down and the presidential contest begins in earnest. And, if the recent past is an indicator, the nation’s gridlocked political process is not likely to produce significant change. The same may not be true for the judicial process. The Supreme Court now has under consideration a case that may fundamentally define the nature and quality of life in America for decades to come.1 

In United States v. Jones, the Supreme Court will decide whether law enforcement may conduct 24/7 GPS surveillance without probable cause, without judicial oversight, and without any spatial or temporal limitation. Simply put, this may be the most important privacy decision since the Supreme Court decided Katz,2 and given the inexorable march of technology, perhaps the most important privacy case ever.

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