House File 2331 would have expanded the types of law enforcement that could seek a warrant to place, monitor, or track GPS data. The bill allowed for a degree of government secrecy, as it would have sealed records of GPS warrants for 5 years–then destroyed those records after 10 years. Most troubling, it would have created an alternative process for obtaining GPS warrants, which would allow police get a warrant without proving that the information they’ve received from informants is credible–and not even require that they seek the warrant in writing.
The bill also would have permitted police to enter a home or garage to place a GPS device in those cases where they could demonstrate that they would be unlikely to have an opportunity to place such a device out in public. Simply put, we believe the bill would have been unconstitutional. When it became clear that it wasn’t politically possible to “fix” the bill, lawmakers quite rightly let it die a quiet death.
Click here for a New York Times article on a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring certain use of GPS by police unconstitutional.