Previously unreasonable searches become reasonable ones under new government interpretations of the Fourth Amendment. Traditional tools of law, like subpoenas and warrants, continue to exist even as they morph into monstrous new forms.
The problem is that the Court sees a warrant as a burden to the police rather than as a protection to the defendant. Civil liberties are about protecting the accused from an overbearing and significantly more powerful police force. So what does this mean?
In this age of electronic databases and mandatory information reporting by businesses, as well as individuals, the use of database warrentless searches is likely to increase and may well meet judicial approval in the absence of limiting legislation.
In United States v. Jones, the Supreme Court will decide whether the secret installation by police of a GPS device to the defendant's vehicle and monitoring his movements every day for four weeks is a "search" that requires a warrant.