Jan 192011
 January 19, 2011  Posted by  Court, Surveillance

Thomas Peele reports:

OAKLAND — George Orwell might have called it “Big Brother-ish,” a judge noted Tuesday, but he ruled that evidence from an electronic device that police planted on Yusuf Bey IV’s car can be used in his triple murder trial.


“This all comes down to whether a person has an expectation of privacy on the undercarriage of their car,” Peretti said.

Mackey’s lawyer, Gary Sirbu, claimed police use of Orwellian surveillance violates Ninth Amendment privacy rights. Reardon said that even if that were so, there was no legal mechanism in place for him to suppress evidence based on Sirbu’s argument.

The judge seemed unconvinced on the privacy argument, saying that he saw little difference between a computer-monitored tracking device and a team of police officers following a car clandestinely on public streets.

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