GEOFENCING has become a popular enforcement tool for the ever-elusive poacher. With most of our poaching incidents taking place off the beaten path it has become frustrating for the modern warden to be in the right place at the right time. Years of sitting on the dark desolate road waiting for the beam of a spot light to emerge from a lone truck in the wee hours of the night has been modernized with a new observation technique called geofencing. This technique has been utilized by law enforcement for a few years now and has been an effective tool for singling out that hand held device the violator likely possesses in his pocket. Each time a violator passes through cell phone districts it registers itself onto the network as many of the programs on the device check into their systems. These functions are integrated to the phone’s operating system and employed by many of the active applications on the phone. When a user agrees to the terms of the device, they are basically waiving their right to privacy as many of these requests broadcast themselves over cellular, WIFI and Bluetooth networks.
So when a bad guy runs down a rural road they leave a digital breadcrumb of their presence across a series of networks. Asking a court to search a particular area for these identifiers allows officers to determine what devices were present in a defined area at a particular time. So if your complainant hears a gunshot at 2:00 AM and there is relatively low traffic in this area then a geofence can show what devices were present in the area before, during, and after the gunshot. It is nice to have a particular time and date to limit the scope of your search. This also limits your return data and keeps the possibilities small. The courts prefer this as well since a wide time frame and area, oftentimes, can be too intrusive for the court to grant a warrant.