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US coppers can install cameras without warrant

by on01 November 2012

Land of the Free?

A US judge has decided that cops can install cameras in open fields without a warrant. In a move which should give the do Internet porn movie industry a boost a federal judge has ruled that police officers in Wisconsin did not violate the Fourth Amendment when they secretly installed wifi cameras on private property without judicial approval.

To be fair in this case the coppers were not looking to make a quick killing on the internet porn market, but had installed the cameras in an open field where they suspected the defendants, Manuel Mendoza and Marco Magana, were growing dope. They eventually got obtained a search warrant, but not until after some potentially incriminating images were captured by the cameras.

Mendoza and Magana wanted to suppress all images collected prior to the issuance of the search warrant. But Judge William Griesbach rejected the request saying that the  Fourth Amendment only protected the home and land directly outside of it and not open fields far from any residence.

The judges found that this did not establish the "reasonable expectation of privacy" required for Fourth Amendment protection.

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