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NCJ Number: 77879 Find in a Library
Title: In the Katz Eye - Use of Binoculars and Telescopes (Part 1)
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:50  Issue:6  Dated:(June 1981)  Pages:26-31
Author(s): R L McGuiness
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article focuses on the legal implications of the Katz decision in 1967 and reviews cases involving the use of visual enhancement devices to view into premises.
Abstract: In the Katz decision, the Government, acting without a warrant or other judicial authorization, intercepted the defendant's end of telephone conversations by means of two microphones attached by tape to the top of two adjoining public telephone booths from which Katz regularly made calls. The Supreme Court concluded that the Government's activities 'violated the privacy upon which the defendant justifiably relied while using the telephone,' and hence a search within the meaning of the fourth amendment had taken place. The article explores some relevant cases arising since Katz to explore the question of whether vision-enhancing devices (as opposed to hearing-enhancing devices) constitute a search for which a warrant is required. These cases include Fulbright v. United States, United States v. Grimes, Commonwealth v. Hernley, State v. Thompson, People v. Ferguson, and Commonwealth v. Williams. In each of these cases, visually enhanced viewings were not found as constituting searches for fourth amendment purposes. A total of 42 footnotes are given.
Index Term(s): Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Judicial decisions; Legal privacy protection; Surveillance; US Supreme Court; Warrantless search
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