Kyllo v. United States (2001)

Kyllo v. United States is a U.S. Supreme Court decision written by Justice Antonin Scalia, decided on June 11, 2001. In the case, the Court decided that the warrantless use of a thermal imaging device by government agents to detect levels of heat emanating from the exterior of a private residence violated the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment guarantees the right of the citizenry to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, by government agents, of their persons, houses, papers, or effects. The Kyllo decision is important to questions of surveillance and privacy because the Court held, broadly, that the use of any technology (not just thermal imaging scanners) “not in general public use” to gather information about the interior of ...

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