A front page story in Sunday’s Virginian Pilot raised an interesting question.
Game wardens had put a hidden camera in a tree, pointed at VanKesteren’s soybean fields, after receiving a complaint about protected birds getting caught in predator traps.
The camera wasn’t just placed in any tree: it was placed in a tree on Steve VanHersteren’s property, without his knowledge or consent. The video was used to convict the Eastern Shore man for a violation of the federal Migratory Bird Act. His only alternative is an appeal to the US Supreme Court, an expensive proposition.
So, do you agree with the magistrate and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that, while troubling, such surveillance can done without a warrant?
Or is this an invasion of privacy and, as such, the conviction should be overturned?