Monthly Archives: June 2012

US TO SUPREME COURT: KEEP WARRANTLESS TRACKING

US Justice Department prosecutors pleaded with a federal appeals court to allow the placement of GPS tracking devices on the vehicles of suspected criminals without first obtaining a search warrant.

 

This argument goes against the Supreme Court ruling in the Jones case back in January which we have reported on extensively here at RMT, and asks the court to reconsider their decision. The ruling makes the practice of placing a tracking device without obtaining a warrant illegal, as it violates an individual’s Constitutional rights.

 

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing the arguments, and the Obama Administration claims that the Jones ruling was not specific enough. Basically, because it did not make clear the need to obtain a warrant in each and every situation, a loophole was left wide open which actually allows GPS tracking despite the court’s intentions.

 

The brief submitted to the court argues that “requiring a warrant and probable cause would seriously impede the government’s ability to investigate drug trafficking, terrorism and other crimes,” according to the Wall Street Journal. The brief also argues that the tracking of a person’s movements using a GPS device is only a “limited intrusion” on one’s privacy.

 

In US v. Jones, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the use of GPS tracking devices on the vehicles of suspected criminals without a valid warrant violated the Fourth Amendment, more specifically unreasonable search and seizure. Those who advocate for privacy hoped that this decision would have set the precedent for cases dealing with warrantless tracking for all kinds of electronic surveillance devices besides GPS devices.

 

Currently, law enforcement is able to access digital records such as emails and cellphone location data without obtaining a warrant. However, searches within schools and at border crossing locations have been deemed exempt from the warrant requirement.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps monitoring needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

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GPS TRACKING PROPOSED FOR FOOTBALL PLAYERS IN ORDER TO PREVENT INJURY

Sports scientists in Australia are proposing that football, or soccer as it’s referred to in the US, coaches begin using GPS tracking devices on athletes in order to prevent injury. Researchers estimate that nearly 80 percent of all sports injuries are preventable, and many believe GPS tracking devices could provide a solution. The grueling intensity and frequency these athletes undergo, particularly during championship tournaments toward the end of the season, is responsible for most injuries. Hopefully, by monitoring the players, coaches will be able to properly rest the athletes before an injury occurs.

 

In 2011, a study of two international rugby union players was published, stating that “GPS data provides important performance indicators, assists in the development of conditioning and training protocols, as well as injury management.” The hang-up in implementing GPS tracking for athletes lies with football’s ruling body, FIFA, which doesn’t recognize GPS as basic equipment allowed on the field.

 

“Football needs to legalize its use to enhance player welfare,” explained Dr. Craig Duncan, head of human performance at soccer club Sydney FC, to CNN. “It’s in the interest of clubs, fans, players and the game itself that we do everything possible to maximize the performance of the player while doing our bet to minimize the risk of injury.”

 

“We have substituted players in preseason when this numbers start getting outside normal zones and also to monitor loads in training to ensure injuries are prevented,” he said. “If we could use it in games, I do think we could prevent more, as many injuries are fatigue related. However I also realize many managers would not make subs based on this.”

 

FIFA doesn’t currently allow GPS devices on the field, but a spokesperson points out that on page 65 of the rulebook, FIFA states: “A player may use equipment other than the basic equipment provided that its sole purpose is to protest him physically and it poses no danger to him or any other player. … All Items of clothing or equipment other than the basic equipment must be inspected by the referee and determined not to be dangerous.” This may be a loophole big enough to fit a GPS tracking device through.

Author: Marisa O’Connor

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps monitoring needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

EMPLOYERS: USE CAUTION WHEN IMPLEMENTING EMPLOYEE TRACKING

Increasingly, employers are turning to GPS tracking to monitor employees and their use of vehicles within the company’s fleet. If you own your own fleet, have had the misfortune of suspecting an employee of vehicle or time misuse, and are entertaining the thought of installing a GPS tracking device on each of your vehicles, you must proceed with caution and follow some simple rules to ensure  you are conducting the GPS surveillance legally.

 

An attorney with Fisher & Phillips, Bradford LeHew, feels that two recent cases speak to the issue of privacy best: US v. Jones and Cunningham v. New YorkState Department of Labor, both of which we’ve reported on here at RMT.

 

The Cases

 

The Jones case raised the issue of privacy in your own personal vehicle with respect to the Fourth Amendment’s protection from unreasonable search and seizure. The justices agreed that relying on the GPS data violated Jones’ Fourth Amendment right and that the government “physically occupied private property for the purpose of obtaining information.” Justice Sotomayor said, “GPS Monitoring generates a precise, comprehensive record of a person’s public movements that reflects a wealth of detail about her familial, political, professional, religious, and sexual associations.” The justices agreed that the act of GPS monitoring of suspected criminals is sort of like having a police car tail you. Sotomayor added, “because GPS monitoring is cheap in comparison to conventional surveillance techniques and by design, proceeds surreptitiously, it evades the ordinary checks that constrain abusive law enforcement practices: limited police resources and community hostility.”

 

In Cunningham v. NY State Department of Labor, an appeals court in New York decided in favor of the state, saying that the state was indeed able to install a GPS trackingdevice on the personal vehicle of an employee suspected of misusing his time on the clock (keeping inaccurate time sheets and taking time off of work without receiving proper authorization to do so.) The state tried to conduct the usual surveillance where an investigator follows him throughout the day, but after some time with no results, they obtained permission to use a GPS device. The device was placed on Cunningham’s car, the falsified time sheets were confirmed, and although the state attorney general’s office granted the placement of the devices, Cunningham sued, claiming this act was illegal. The court felt otherwise: a 3-2 ruling was handed down, stating that the use of the devices was, in fact, reasonable. Why did the court side with the state? Three main reasons: there was an attempt made to monitor the suspect by tailing him first, and the attempt failed; Cunningham was made fully aware the state was onto him, meaning the collection of data during work hours should have come as no surprise; and the device was not constantly collecting data.

 

How Do Employer-Owned Vehicles Compare?

 

LeHew said, not much different, using a package delivery company as an example. The company had GPS tracking devices on some of its fleet to study the efficiency of the delivery routes, perfectly legal as the employee’s affected were notified of the prescence of the devices. LeHew said company vehicles should be thought of in the same way as company-owned e-mail, phone, and computers: there is no expectation of privacy when it comes to these things. In his mind, LeHew feels employers should be able to assure employees are doing what they are supposed to do, where and when they are supposed to do them. If that means GPS monitoring, so be it.

 

What Employers Can Do

 

The first step, according to LeHew, is a clearly stated policy on such a practice, especially assuring each employee knows the company might at some point track their location using a GPS device. This policy should specify instances GPS monitoring might be used to benefit the employer. The policy should serve the best interest of the employer while still preserving the privacy rights of the employee when they are not at work.

 

It is possible to deactivate the tracking device, and employees can be trained accordingly in this practice. Assure managers are made aware this type of monitoring must not be overused. The best way, LeHew said, to assure employees aren’t conducting personal business during company time: requiring employees to submit mileage logs that can be compared with the car’s odometer. Remember to exhaust all possibilities prior to using a GPS tracking device.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps monitoring needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

PORTUGUESE ARMY SPECIAL FORCES IMPLEMENTS G700SE-M TACTICAL GPS CAMERA KITS

The Portuguese Special Forces Unit is the latest military operation to put the capabilities of GPS to good use. Geo Tactical Solutions, Inc. has announced this unit has purchased several G700SEM Tactical GPS Long-Range Camera Kits in the hopes of improving ISR capabilities, or intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

 

source rmtracking.comGeo Tactical Solutions provides high-tech GPScameras, modules, and photo mapping software, and provided the Portuguese Army Special Forces on-site training in Lisbon, Portugal in the use of the GPS cameras. The G700SE-M Tactical Long-Range Camera Kit includes the G700SE-M rugged GPS camera, 2X and 8X zoom teleconverter lenses, laser range finder, and a 65X zoom spotting scope which can be attached to the G700SE-M camera to capture photos at long-range, as well as allowing long-range observation.

 

Jim Kidd, Vice President of Geo Tactical Solutions, explains the package: “The specially configured and ruggedized G700SE-M digital camera, long range optics, and laser range finder all work seamlessly together to provide high quality geo-tagged images along with who, what, when, where, and why ‘memos’ that are permanently imbedded in the exif header of each jpeg image. The associated software plug-in – FoxView – allows them to easily map their images collected in the field, integrate data with GIS applications such as ArcGIS, FalconView, TIGR, GeoSuite, and Google Earth, and generate photo-enhanced reports quickly and efficiently.”

 

The combination of the G700SE-M GPS camera and long-range spotting scope gives users the ability to identify and photograph things that are as far as 1,000 meters away. The GPS receiver and on-board electronic compass allows the accurate recording of GPS coordinates (LAT/LONG, MGRS, Decimal Degrees, etc.) and even records the direction the camera was pointing when the picture was taken. The addition of the laser range finder provides the distance and GPS coordinates of the object being photographed, offering the recording of this information with the press of a button.

 

Kidd said, “I’ve always wondered what the militaries of relatively small and “unthreatened” countries do to justify their existence. After all, it’s been at least 400 years since neighboring Spain has invaded Portugal, so why have a highly trained Special Forces group? Well, as it turns out, the Portuguese Special Forces periodically deploy around the world to serve and protect Portuguese people living in former Portuguese territories. They also serve alongside other NATO Nations in various peacekeeping missions around the world. The Special Forces until I trained are a proud, professional, and capable force. They are well equipped and anxious to make a difference wherever they go. Most importantly, though, they are good friends of the United States and can certainly be relied upon to offer help when it’s needed. We’re proud to have them as a new customer and look forward to working with them again in the near future.”

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps monitoring needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

GPS INTERFERENCE IS TOO MUCH FOR LIGHTSQUARED

For many months, the battle raged between GPS companies and LightSquared, and the U.S. government took a very active role. LightSquared has represented itself as the little hero, trying to set up a better mobile network for us, the users, against the tyranny of big GPS companies that are afraid the new network might cramp their style.

Many of those big GPS companies joined forces to oppose LightSquared’s plans, claiming that it would cause GPS interference with critical emergency, military, and other applications. Representatives from LightSquared, on the other hand, argued that this is only true because GPS companies have been regularly trespassing into the bandwidth that the new network is scheduled to use. Rather than spend money to revise their systems and make them adhere to the prescribed bandwidths, they try to keep the new network off the air.

The drawn-out series of government hearings and arguments, not to mention red-tape delays, have exhausted the resources that LightSquared had at its disposal. The company could not make any profits until the planned network was allowed to go online, and those plans were denied. Federal regulators have agreed that the GPS interference of a LightSquared network would be excessively disruptive and dangerous to GPS users. LightSquared and its CEO, Philip Falcone, shuffled money and debts around to buy a little more time, but the company failed to find a workable solution, resulting in bankruptcy.

A close call for dangerous GPS interference, or a disturbing example of industry leaders joining together to shut out a competitor? Opinions will no doubt continue to fly, but we may never really know whether the mobile network would have had the disastrous effects that GPS companies claimed it would. If nothing else, perhaps the months-long incident will lead to calls for reform among GPS bandwidth users to clear adjoining frequencies for future networks. As the industry expands, the space may well be needed.

Author: Mark Rummel

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps monitoring needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

BUDGET CONCERNS COULD KILL CRASH AVOIDANCE RESEARCH

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) is working on a pilot program to help make the roads safer for drivers. The program would use GPS technology already in many vehicles to talk to surrounding vehicles on the road to help prevent accidents ”The receiving vehicle is able to determine if there is an imminent crash threat,” said the director of DOT’s Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Shelley Row. “The two communicating vehicle systems can then activate warning systems to the drivers for things that the driver may not otherwise be able to detect.”

Using a Wi-Fi-like radio transmitter/receiver along with GPS technology, nearby vehicles can share information such as speed, location, acceleration and steering angle, up to 10 times per second. The DOT is also considering including information about traffic and other road signals to be transmitted to vehicles. “The vehicle will be able to pick up that signal,” she continued. “and know in advance… when the signal is going to turn and whether the vehicle is moving too fast to clear the intersection.” The vehicle to vehicle (V2V) andGPS technology will help send alerts to drivers about possible dangers, hopefully avoiding accidents and even preventing deaths.

A year-long pilot program is scheduled to begin August 21 of this year in order to test the real-world applications and effectiveness of this system. “There are 2,800 vehicles that will be equipped with three different types of equipment,” Row said in an interview with Inside GNSS. “We will be testing six different crash avoidance applications during the course of the year and collecting data on the effectiveness of those applications.”

However, budget concerns have some wondering if this potentially life-saving program will ever see the light of day. The DOT is currently allowed $110 million annually for ITS research. “Our current budget projections would require a substantial amount of that $100 million,” a government spokesperson told Inside GNSS, “and if the grant program took a minimum of 50% of it, it would very likely have an impact of, at a minimum, slowing our work and not enabling us to support NHTSA’s 2013 decision or 2014 decision.”

Author: Marisa O’Connor

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps monitoring needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

CANON POWERSHOT D20 FEATURES GPS FUNCTIONALITY

Yet another GPS-enabled camera has entered the photography world, this time Canon’s 12-megapixel PowerShot D20. Featuring a 5X zoom lens and a unique aqua and black color scheme, this pretty little camera is tougher than it seems.

 

Go ahead and use it on your next underwater adventure – it is submersible up to 33 feet. Headed for a hike? It may not be sturdy enough to be dropped from off the top of a mountain, but it can handle being dropped up to five feet. Take it skiing as well if you wish – it can handle temps as low as 14°F. Unlike a similar rugged camera we reported on recently, the Pentax Optio WG-2, this camera is not crush-proof.

 

The GPS locator contained within the camera is handy for those who trek all over the country or even the world, snapping pictures as they go, but not documenting the exact location the pictures are taken. The camera takes care of that for you, tagging each photo you take with the specific GPS coordinates. The GPS device contained within the camera is extremely accurate, but not very quick to pinpoint your GPS coordinates. It typically takes around two minutes to acquire a signal. The Pentax Optio WG-2 wins yet again in this arena, locking on to a signal in seconds.

 

Imagine heading home after a trip and seeing your journey mapped out in GPS coordinates. Gone are the days of wondering exactly which mountain range your family is standing in front of while reviewing the pictures back at home when your family vacation is over. Pretty amazing, and all for about $349.99. It may not be the best rugged camera option, but after reviewing its features, you might find it is the perfect camera for your needs.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps monitoring needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

GPS INDUSTRY REMINDS CAPITOL HILL WHY GPS MODERNIZATION PROGRAMS ARE CRUCIAL

Could we live without GPS on a daily basis? Probably not. It has become a staple in our daily lives, whether we are traveling with our families or for business, keeping track of our property, or even assuring our food arrives safely and fresh to the grocery store. The big names in the GPS industry know that people love GPS for a host of reasons, but are aware that at some point, Congress may decide to slash key programs for GPS modernization.

 

To address this concern,Lockheed Martin, ITT Exelis, Raytheon, Honeywell, and General Dynamics – all big names in the GPS industry – hosted Global Positioning System Modernization Day on the Hill on May 31 at the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer. GPS suppliers, like all defense contractors, are concerned the state of our economy may bring about budget cuts, especially to the new GPS III program. “Across the board, every program is being scrutinized,” according to Michael Friedman, spokesman for Lockheed Martin. He said this event is “an opportunity to show the importance of GPS and the great progress that we’re making.”

 

As we’ve reported in the past, Lockheed was named the contractor and manufacturer of GPS III satellites back in 2008. The first two of the 32 proposed satellites will be launched in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The goal is to replace each and every satellite in the current constellation with new GPS III satellites. Those in the GPS industry say it isn’t just replacing the old satellites because they are aging, but also because these new GPS III satellites are far more secure, protecting against jamming.

 

Friedman states that interference is increasingly becoming a problem with the current GPS II satellites, especially seeing as jamming devices are cheap and easy to procure. As an example, a Newark, NJ trucker was recently caught using one of these jamming devices so his employer could not pinpoint his location. Consequently, the use of this device led to the crash of the GPS landing system at Newark International Airport. These GPS jammers scramble or block signals from the GPS satellites, and a GPS spoofer deceives GPS receivers. The new GPS III satellites, according to those in the GPS industry, are much harder to mess with.

 

Raytheon spokesman Jared B. Adams agrees that the GPS constellation “is an expensive program but also a very worthwhile program for military and commercial interests. We want to harden assets so spoofing and jamming don’t take place in the future.” Raytheon was awarded the GPS III ground control equipment contract in 2010, worth about $2.5 billion.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps monitoring needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN INDIA ABOUT TO GAIN EFFICIENCY FROM GPS

In India, public transportation is absolutely vital. The nation is, in many areas, extremely dense in terms of population. Owning an automobile is not as prevalent, or as practical, as it is in the United States. The Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation is largely responsible for managing public bus transportation in India. The corporation has recently announced big improvements that citizens of India may hope to enjoy in the near future.
The addition of air conditioning to many of its bus units will be a welcome addition. Added travel to the important and growing city of Tirumala, a popular site of pilgrimage for Hindus, will be additionally wrlcome. Key to  Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation’s efficiency and success in the future, however, may be the integration of GPS functionality in a large portion of its fleet.
Basic Fleet Management Benefits
To any bus fleet, fleet managementutilizing GPS has tremendous advantages. GPS devices are installed on vehicles and provide extremely accurate data in terms of speed and vehicle performance. When proper monitoring software and personnel are in place, notifications may be sent out when busses are speeding, braking excessively, etc. By monitoring the handling of these vehicles, maintenance costs may be lowered marginally. The benefit is more present over time, as the length of service of these vehicles are increased. The benefits in emergency situations are apparent as well: accidents, mechanical breakdowns and more may all be monitored with pinpoint precision.
Basic Fleet Management Problems
Unfortunately, the GPS revolution in terms of fleet management has had some highly publicized speed bumps, mostly due to corporate corruption. Several fleets have been scammed into installing nonfunctional GPS devices. Companies were paying good money for GPS systems that just didn’t work, and then were sacked with the bill. The functionality of GPS devices and the quality of their upkeep is absolutely critical in order to utilize these devices to maximum effectiveness.
A Promising Future for India
As India becomes progressively more affluent, citizens may be pleased as creature comforts such as air conditioning are added to public transportation. Bus fleet managers, however, may be extremely pleased as GPS fleet management makes the fleet last longer, run more efficiently and, in the long run, saves money for the company which utilizes those services.

Author: John Chapman

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps monitoring needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

RESTRAINED BY GPS TECHNOLOGY

Every year, thousands of women, children, and even men are harmed by someone who claims to love them. And every year, hundreds of restraining orders are issued to try to protect those same people. However, a restraining order is only a piece of paper that is easily violated. To further help victims of abuse, Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, recently signed a bill that allows the Department of Corrections to use a GPS trackingdevice to monitor the whereabouts of any individual who has violated a restraining order.

Nature of a Restraining Order
Any victim of domestic violence, stalking, harassment, child abuse, or elder abuse can file for a restraining order. There are different types of restraining orders issued by a judge after the victim has filed for protection. The 72-hour no contact order is issued immediately and automatically after any domestic violence arrest, but such an order lasts only the three days. A temporary restraining order, or TRO, can last up to 90 days while the individual in question is awaiting a hearing for an injunction. An injunction can be issued against an individual that lasts up to two years. No matter the circumstances, once a restraining order has been issued, it is up to the individual to abide by the terms of the order or face wearing a GPS tracking bracelet.
Violation of a Restraining Order
In Wisconsin, the penalty for violating a restraining order is anywhere from 90 days in jail to 9 months in jail with a $1,000 fine, depending on the type of case involved. Unfortunately, many times when a restraining order is violated, the victim suffers. One local domestic abuse advocate group reports approximately five cases of restraining order violations a month. This new bill that allows for GPS monitoring of violators will hopefully reduce the number of repeat offenders and drastically reduce the number of victims.
According to Wisconsin’s bill, only those who have already violated a restraining order can be tracked using GPS-enabled monitoring devices and only a judge can order such use. The device would alert authorities any time the wearer enters a restricted area as defined by the restraining order. The burden of paying for the device and the monitoring falls on the offender. Hopefully, the knowledge that GPS technology can and will be used in these cases will deter individuals from breaking the restraining order and help victims feel safer.

Author: Hillary Mayfield

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps monitoring needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.