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U.S. v. Knotts

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Citation Edit

United States v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276 (1983) (full-text).

Factual Background Edit

This case involved the use of CCTV in public spaces and the police’s use of a tracking device to track a car through public streets.

U.S. Supreme Court Proceedings Edit

The U.S. Supreme Court held that the warrantless monitoring of a beeper is not a search or seizure under the Fourth Amendment because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy as the movements tracked are public.

The Court’s ruling brought up the question of “dragnet surveillance,” which the court said would probably be considered a search. The Court further hinted that had the surveillance been used for a long period of time, say over multiple days, then it may have constituted a Fourth Amendment search. To date, however, the Court has not considered that issue.

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