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FBI still upset with Supreme Court GPS ruling despite success in obtaining warrants

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After a Supreme Court ruling last month, the FBI now requires a warrant before using GPS tracking. However, it looks like those warrants aren't too hard to come by.

GPS Phone
GPS Phone

Last month, a Supreme Court ruling forced the FBI to shut down around 3,000 GPS tracking devices that were placed without a warrant — but it looks like actually obtaining those warrants isn't so hard after all. While the FBI has said that the decision would "inhibit" its ability to utilize GPS tracking, NPR reports that of the 3,000 trackers that were shut down, only 250 weren't eventually turned back on. In spite of this, the FBI still believes that the ruling will make its life more difficult. "A search warrant requires probable cause to be shown," said Bureau lawyer Andrew Weissmann, "and many of these techniques are things that you use in order to establish probable cause."

Of course, with such a high success rate in getting the tracking devices turned back on, this means that more FBI agents will be free to follow potential criminals the old fashioned way — with teams of up to eight working on foot. While that's certainly a bigger drain on resources than GPS trackers, even the FBI has to admit that 250 cases is a much more manageable number than 3,000.