Police Drones & the 4th Amendment, Part 2!

Logo 600 x 600Welcome back, Drone Law Nation! Today we continue our special series on Drone Law Today: Drones and the Fourth Amendment!

This second episode looks at the case of Katz v. United States, a Supreme Court case that shows how our police “search and seizure” case law changes when the Court considers new technology.

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the Olmstead decision (from 1928) where the Court held that wiretaps were not searches under the Fourth Amendment! That means that police did not need a warrant to put up a wiretap!

Does that sound crazy to you? It should, because that is certainly not the law today! This shows you how new technology crashes into the Constitution in unpredictable ways. The Court over time “changes its mind” to adjust to new things.

The Katz decision is part of this evolution. Instead of considering “liquor smuggling” like in Olmstead, this case looks at the use of telephone technology to run a gambling ring (and FBI “bugs” on phone booths…).

And why does this matter for drones? Because drones are a brand new technology that will, like wire taps and FBI listening devices, crash right into the Constitution in unexpected ways. Understanding these cases will arm you, Drone Law Nation, to protect yourself and your business by seeing how things may play out.

Listen in for Part 2!

Links for you:

Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Katz v. U.S., 389 U.S. 347 (1967)

Part 1 of our Series


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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.


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Keep on flying,



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