Can Police Locate Wireless Internet Moochers Without a Warrant?

posted Dec 31, 2012, 9:44 AM by Peter Joseph Moons   [ updated Dec 31, 2012, 9:44 AM ]
Can Police Locate Wireless Internet Moochers Without a Warrant? - WSJ


December 31, 2012

"The courts have ruled that Internet subscribers have no reasonable expectation of privacy in their IP address, the number assigned to devices that connect to the Internet. Nor can they expect privacy protection for the information they give their Internet service providers."

Several points are worth noting.  Wireless broadband users are no long 'private' when they connect to an existing network.  This situation is similar to someone who leaves the privacy of their domicile and boards a public bus.  In the public space, the right to privacy for many actions is limited.  However, the fact that 'searches' by a government entity does, as the article mentions, delve into an issue of the 4th Amendment.  Thus, there is the concern of 'reasonableness;' there would be no surprise if this issue eventually goes to the US Supreme Court.

Control Grade: 10 (for now).  Freedom Grade: 1.
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