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Today in legal history...

Thursday, May 02, 2013

US government made precise GPS available to non-governmental users
Kyle Webster at 12:00 AM ET

On May 2, 2000, the US discontinued the use of Selective Availability, a program that degraded the ability of non-governmental users to have access to precise Global Positioning Systems (GPS). President Bill Clinton made the announcement on May 1 that at midnight precisely, GPS would be made available to the general populace. The decision shifted GPS from a military instrument to important commercial and civilian applications. Today, the use of GPS by governmental entities is controversial, given its ability to pinpoint a person's precise location. In March 2013, a bipartisan bill was introduced that would require a warrant for the use of GPS by the government.

Learn more about GPS from the JURIST news archive.

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