‘Pre-Search’ Is Coming to US Policing


When it comes to constitutional criminal procedure, privacy, and the Fourth Amendment, it’s time to get ready for the concept of “pre-search.” Like the PreCrime police unit in the 2002 movie Minority Report, which predicted who was going to conduct criminal acts, pre-search uses technology to conduct the better part of a constitutional search before law enforcement knows what it might search for.

Since January, police in Baltimore have been testing an aerial surveillance system developed for military use in Iraq. The system records visible activity across an area as wide as thirty square miles for as much as ten hours at a time. Police can use it to work backward from an event, watching the comings and goings of people and cars to develop leads about who was involved. “Google Earth with TiVo capability,” says the founder of the company that provides this system to Baltimore.

Source: http://reason.com/archives/2016/08/30/get-ready-for-pre-search

Photo via Joel Penner

  1. Scott says

    People complain only if it is used in their neighborhood. Place it in high crime urban neighborhoods and the suburban people won’t complain. It’s not black neighborhoods. It’s “high crime”.

    Use it in upper suburban neighborhood and the whites will complain.

    Would you want this over your house? It’s only time before the camera technology improves to see what you are doing.

  2. Josh says


    The camera and technology exist and are in use. DARPAs high altitude blimps, that can stay above a fixed area for extended periods, equipped with this camera are doing this right now.

    1. Samuel Culper says

      Doing it right now overseas and in limited cases in the US, sure. But the point of the article is that it’s going to be put into widespread use, as budgets allow.

      1. Josh says

        With text, it is impossible for me to interpret any implication or inference so I will say this, I meant no disrespect in my post. I just don’t see the outrage in everyone being watched when many are already being surveilled without warrant or probable cause. An infraction on one of us should be an infraction on all of us, like Scott was implying, without the race bit. Anyway, I appreciate your response and all that you do here. I’m working on my local intelligence gathering thanks to you.

    2. Jeff says

      They are called Aerostats or TARS. Been in use at Huachuca for years to watch the Mexican border. Used extensively in Afghanistan too. Cameras, radar, attach to blimp, run it up a few thousand feet. They can see for dozens of miles.

      1. George says

        Dude, have you read the constitution, our founding fathers and citizens gave their life for”our privacy rights”. We are so willing to sweep our rights under the rug so we can live under the watchful eye that the KGB or Gestapo would be proud of.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.