Tags: police | radar | inside | homes

Police Radar Inside Homes Now Can Tell If Someone Is There

By    |   Wednesday, 21 Jan 2015 09:43 AM

New police radar now being used by at least 50 law enforcement agencies allowing police to detect if someone is in a home and where they are – all without a homeowner's knowledge – is raising privacy concerns.

Courts have ruled in the past that law enforcement would need a search warrant before using similar technology, according to USA Today. These new types of sensors using radio waves are new and have raised concerns among privacy rights activists..

The surveillance radar operates much like a high-tech motion detector, using radio waves to find movement as slight as a human breathing from more than 50 feet away.

The radar can pinpoint where a person is in a home and whether they are on the move.

Christopher Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union told The Huffington Post that home radar raises concerns of unreasonable searches and seizures and supervision.

"This technology is just plain creepy, and it's essential that new surveillance methods aren't allowed to evade the protections of the Fourth Amendment," said Soghoian. "Constitutional privacy protections are all the more important when police adopt devices that can literally see through the walls of our homes without us ever knowing about it."

Home radar devices have flown well under the radar until a federal appeals court in Denver brought the use of the technology to light in December. Judges expressed concern over its use in one case, but eventually upheld the arrest of the person involved for other reasons.

"The privacy concerns raised by using radar to see inside the house of a suspect are part the larger issue of the law trying to keep up with new surveillance methods," wrote Andrea Peterson of the Washington Post. "From GPS in cars to having access to the data on a person's cellphone, the judicial system has had to navigate applying centuries-old legal principles to technology that could barely even be imagined when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were drafted."

"And that job is made even more difficult if law enforcement tries to obscure from the courts the exact methods they use to acquire evidence," said Peterson, pointing out that some law enforcement agencies don't mention the surveillance tools used in initial reports and will only reveal their use in court testimony.

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New police radar now being used by at least 50 law enforcement agencies allowing police to detect if someone is in a home and where they are – all without a homeowner's knowledge – is raising privacy concerns.
police, radar, inside, homes
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2015-43-21
Wednesday, 21 Jan 2015 09:43 AM
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