Home > Uncategorized > Needless Moving About, My Lord Wellington

Needless Moving About, My Lord Wellington

“[Railroads will] only encourage the common people to move about needlessly.”

The Duke of Wellington, 1835

Well said, my Lord. He was right of course, not just trains, but planes and automobiles later on encouraged this and continue to do so. The only point one can raise against his statement is that it’s none of his, or any governments, God damned business where “the common people” move about and for what reason they do so. Enter U.S. v. Jones scheduled for argument this November.

Essentially the police did not have a warrant that was “within date” (it was expired), nor did they have a warrant that applied in the jurisdiction where a GPS tracking device was affixed to this mans vehicle to enable tracking. The government is contending that tracking a person by GPS is the same as having a police officer directly observe them.

Obviously bullshit.

In my view, they are kind of right. It’s not illegal for a police officer to follow you around, without a warrant, in any place where the officer may legally be. A GPS device enables the same sort of tracking just by remote rather than direct observation. My problem is, if upheld, this would essentially mean that the government could track everyone and anyone they wish, for any reason. I think a key part of the 4th amendment in this day and age of advanced technologies is they be limited by the manpower limitations that have always bound law enforcement agencies, at least without a warrant.

I don’t care the man is a Muslim. I don’t care that that he was peddling crack. I care that the government not have the ability to track anyone they please for any reason or even no reason at all.

The limitations of manpower help to ensure that police expend resources properly, not on whims. It may be that personnel are wasted, or that they can’t do everything they need to because of a lack of manpower, but I find that infinitely preferable to a country where they can track everyone, and so have the ability to prevent our “needless moving about” or any other kind of moving about that strikes me as a way to spend my time.

The giant leap in philosophy if this is upheld would require only one further small step to us all wearing tracking collars like animals being studied.

I just hope they have them in blue if that’s where we end up, because choice of color may be one of the few freedoms we retain at that point.

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