Should persons suspect of a crime, subject to an investigation/surveilance be notified?

Should someone who is suspected of a crime and subjected to an investigation via surveilance, tracking, recording, etc, be told about the investigation upon being cleared?

I was reading an article about an ACLU case involving the GPS tracking of a suspect in fraud case for two months. What struck me was that the FBI agent stated that it was essentially done in order to clear the suspect or gather evidence against him.

Assuming he had been cleared, does the suspect have the right to know that he was being tracked by FBI agents for suspicion of fraud?

I believe this information is not currently given out, and unless you are interrogated, or charged, you would never, indeed could never know that you had been a suspect in some criminal activity, am I correct?

Assuming I am, should there be a method for a person to find out? A notice given by law enforcement perhaps?

Lets say LEOs suspect you of dealing drugs. And secretly GPS your car, video and audio tape various private conversations by bugging your home, office, spying on you in public places. In the end all they find out is that you are having an affair with the 200 pound cleaning lady and decide to drop the investigation. Do you feel you should be to told about the investigation? Why or why not? And how much should you be told?

You could always file FOIA requests for your own law enforcement files every year.

I don’t know if this is the law in the US, but in Canada, the target of a court-ordered wiretap must be advised of the wiretap after a certain period after the investigation is concluded.

Ok, so my premise is wrong. People CAN find out about investigations, though aren’t necessarily sent a notice.

Time to write up a FOIA request :wink:

How does it benefit the law abiding citizen to be notified of a legal investigation of themselves?

For the criminal that got lucky and not had his activities uncovered by the investigation, it would be a huge benefit to be notified, so that he could tighten things up even further. Why give the criminal element that advantage?

Because people have a reasonable expectation of privacy and thus the right to know when it has been infringed by the state. That isn’t to say that such information can’t have sensitive information like confidential informants’ identities redacted.

Where does your private life begin and your living in a public world end?

In many places in UK and Europe, your every move outside of your home could be tracked via CCTV cameras. Is that an invasion of your privacy?

What happens if I catch someone while they attempt to surreptitiously place a recording device in my home and I hurt/kill what I assume to be an intruder?

If it happened in the US, I’d say so. We have a well-documented history of antipathy to Big Brother-type government action. Being in public does not mean you lose all expectation of privacy, just that it’s reduced. That isn’t to say that the police can’t watch you when you’re out in public, but in the case of the GPS tracker the court rightly decided that a warrant was required.

If the cops just spend a few days following you around before concluding you aren’t up to anything, I don’t think they should necessarily have to inform you after the fact. If they did something that requires a warrant–and I think things like pulling cellphone data to track locations or attaching a GPS tracker to your car as well as listening to the actual conversations should require some kind of sign-off from a judge–then I think at some point the subject of the warrant in question should be informed of what happened.

Something like doing a Google search on a person wouldn’t trigger a notification requirement; something like ordering your bank to provide financial data would. Reading what you posted on an Internet message board–well, heck, anyone can do that. Reading your e-mail or getting your ISP to cough up what web sites you’ve visited should, in my opinion, require a warrant, and should therefore be subject to a notification requirement some reasonable period after the investigation has concluded. (Assuming, of course, the investigation doesn’t conclude with an indictment–if it does, I suppose the results of the wiretaps and so on will be revealed to the defendant during the trial or at discovery.)

Yes, I think that’s a perfectly reasonable guideline: if it required a warrant, you should be informed.

Depends on the state. If they have a castle law, like Texas, you can shoot first, ask questions later and no prosecutor or grand jury will indict you. Other states require you be in direct physical danger with no reasonable means of escape before you can use lethal force.

Even in Texas, the Castle Doctrine doesn’t shield you from prosecution for shooting a public servant.

It does in Indiana, though.

That seems like the just way to handle it, but as Omar pointed out above it could tip off criminals operations to tighten up their business.

That being said, I’d rather take the risk of potentially aiding criminals than giving the government free rein to monitor citizens in perpetual secrecy.

Yes, if you know or should know it’s a public servant. If, in the hypothetical situation, you walk in on a stranger in street clothes rifling through your things it won’t matter much if you find a badge in his pocket after you’ve plugged him. Unless there’s a wrinkle to the law of which I’m unaware, you don’t have to ask what the intruder is doing before you commence firing.

If you walk in on a stranger rifling through your clothes in street clothes, it won’t be an LEO. Search warrants aren’t served by undercover personnel. The law is that the Castle Doctrine does not reach law enforcement. If you can find a citation to the contrary because they were undercover or whatever, be my guest.

The situation we’re debating, at least to my understanding, would be someone placing a listening device in your home. I’m sure that wouldn’t be accomplished by an officer serving a search warrant.

I assumed you meant they were searching the house. They don’t put listening devices in sock drawers, and they don’t break into the house to install them. Most of the time there’s no physical presence at all; they just tap the phone line, and that can be done by the carrier from a million miles away.

Anyway, a warrant is required for installation of a listening device in a home. It’s a search for the purposes of the Fourth Amendment.