A sharply-divided federal appeals court has upheld a ruling that police can't use GPS to track a suspect's vehicle without a warrant, rejecting a bid by the Justice Department to have the life sentence of a convicted drug dealer reinstated.
In a case closely watched by national civil liberties groups, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in a 5-4 decision upheld a lower court ruling that GPS data proved 'essential to the government's case' against Antoine Jones and a warrant was needed.
The decision, released late Friday without comment, came three months after a three-judge panel reversed the life sentence of Jones, who was convicted of running a drug ring from a D.C. nightclub. His lawyers had argued that the government's use of GPS technology violated his 'reasonable expectation of privacy.'The decision in its entirety is here: