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FBI caught surveiling American citizen, demand tracking device back.

2

Posts

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    If I found that under my car,
    Spoiler:

    I'd run and call the bomb squad. Played too many FPS I suppose.

    what the hell? Is this the 60 or something?

    I can get a track-able GPS unit the size of a box of matches, what the hell is the rest of it?

    Signal amplification and power supply.

    And if this really was the 1960s, the FBI would be smart enough to make all of their devices in-house and design them to be hooked into the car's electrical system. I cannot believe we outsource this shit now.

  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Feral wrote: »

    So they secretly bugged you even though you weren't a suspect and no files had been charged against you?

    That's... even worse. D:

    Considering that they actually had to get a warrant, I'd still say it's better than the current situation.

    steam_sig.png
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    SammyF wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    If I found that under my car,
    Spoiler:

    I'd run and call the bomb squad. Played too many FPS I suppose.

    what the hell? Is this the 60 or something?

    I can get a track-able GPS unit the size of a box of matches, what the hell is the rest of it?

    Signal amplification and power supply.

    And if this really was the 1960s, the FBI would be smart enough to make all of their devices in-house and design them to be hooked into the car's electrical system. I cannot believe we outsource this shit now.

    You'd actually need to break into the car to do that, wouldn't you? It's not as simple as slapping a battery with magnets into the undercarriage of a car.

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    So they secretly bugged you even though you weren't a suspect and no files had been charged against you?

    That's... even worse. D:

    I can't really go into the details, but suffice it to say that while we hadn't put all the pieces in the puzzle together, we had access to enough of them to accidentally get a very nice man in a whole lot of trouble with the wrong sort of people in the event that we brought up a seemingly-innocuous topic of conversation with someone who wasn't actually the person we thought he was.

    Thankfully it ended up not being an issue, but I happen to know this guy and like him. It's easy to get enraged about these things when you don't know the people involved, but when you do, you can afford a little more forgiveness if it's meant to prevent someone you know from being harmed or killed.

    bowen wrote: »
    You'd actually need to break into the car to do that, wouldn't you? It's not as simple as slapping a battery with magnets into the undercarriage of a car.

    It's not like we don't train people how to do that. If you want to plant a bug in the car, you have to break in anyway.

  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2010
    The device shown is an older model. The new ones do splice into the car's electrical supply.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    SammyF wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    You'd actually need to break into the car to do that, wouldn't you? It's not as simple as slapping a battery with magnets into the undercarriage of a car.

    It's not like we don't train people how to do that. If you want to plant a bug in the car, you have to break in anyway.

    I thought it was in the undercarriage of the car, meaning, just basically magnetized to the frame rather than attached permanently to the car? I don't think you'd really need to break in for that would you?

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Doc wrote: »
    The device shown is an older model. The new ones do splice into the car's electrical supply.

    So when the police tracker drains my car's shitty battery will the cops come give me a jump? Not much point to tracking someone who can't leave the house after all.

    sig.jpg
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    bowen wrote: »
    SammyF wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    You'd actually need to break into the car to do that, wouldn't you? It's not as simple as slapping a battery with magnets into the undercarriage of a car.

    It's not like we don't train people how to do that. If you want to plant a bug in the car, you have to break in anyway.

    I thought it was in the undercarriage of the car, meaning, just basically magnetized to the frame rather than attached permanently to the car? I don't think you'd really need to break in for that would you?

    For that device, no, you don't need to break in. But it's also an impractically large device with a limited battery life which also risks being shaken loose if he hits a pot hole going too fast. It smacks of something designed to be idiot-proof for amateurs.

  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2010
    If it were me, I would have found a truck stop to...deposit it at as quickly as possible.

    When they asked me for it back I would be all like "No idea where it is. It's a tracking device though, you should have no trouble figuring out which state it is in by now."

    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
  • Jolt ColaJolt Cola Registered User
    edited October 2010
    The *most* fucked up part of this whole mess is that the courts have ruled that your car sitting in your driveway on your private property is not considered to have a reasonable expectation of privacy. BUT IF YOU HAVE A GATE, well then they can't just mosey up your driveway and stick shit in your car. This whole situation smells.

  • twotimesadingotwotimesadingo Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Jolt Cola wrote: »
    The *most* fucked up part of this whole mess is that the courts have ruled that your car sitting in your driveway on your private property is not considered to have a reasonable expectation of privacy. BUT IF YOU HAVE A GATE, well then they can't just mosey up your driveway and stick shit in your car. This whole situation smells.


    Incorrect - for the most part. 9th Circuit has ruled -- apparently; I can't seem to find the opinion written out, only included in abstracts/precis -- that a tracker with an autonomous battery supply can be placed on a vehicle in the driveway of a residence (e.g. private property). According to case law in every other Circuit, the curtilage of a property still retains REP. To spell it out further, in every other Circuit, a car would have to be in a public place for a tracker to be secured to it. The 9th Circuit is a bit loony on a whole variety of civil-rights case law, running the gamut from far-right/fascist gestapo rulings to far-left/nanny state decisions. Quite bizarre.

    Also, as a note, any tracker that affects the electrical wiring of a vehicle (that is to say, any tracker that requires an outside power source, like the vehicle battery rather than its own), requires a warrant in every Circuit. Maybe that eases the whole "They're trampling muh rights!!1" thing?

    The nonsense earlier about a bug in a vehicle is a qualitatively different scenario. A listening device is considered an infringement into REP, and therefore, in the absense of a consenting party, requires a warrant. At least, it did before the whole civil-rights abuse (read: warrantless wiretaps).

    What's funny to me about REP is how otherwise intelligent, rational people become complete idiots regarding what is "reasonable." Is it reasonable for me to expect privacy on my end of a cell phone call in the middle of a movie theatre? It seems to me that a lot of people on here would claim that I have every right to expect privacy, because it's my phone. But, of course, it's those asshats talking on their phones during the movie that drive us nutty, precisely because it's not a private area. It's damn near as public an environment as you can get.

    Divorce the the activity from the context of potential monitoring, and I think the "reasonableness" part of REP is far easier to gauge.

    Scenario 1) I leave my house around 930 AM. I take a walk through a public park, and get a phone call. I talk for about five minutes and hang up. I continue to a convenience store, purchase a few items and place them in an paper. I leave the store, go to work, then leave and head back to my home around 530 PM.

    Scenario 2) I leave my house around 930 AM. I take a walk through a public park, and get a phone call. I talk for about five minutes and hang up. I continue to a convenience store, purchase a few items and place them in an paper. I leave the store, go to work, then leave and head back to my home around 530 PM. During this time, two NYPD officers were watching me from a distance ranging from five (5) to fifty (50) meters.

    I guess there's a qualitative difference there?

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    What's funny to me about REP is how otherwise intelligent, rational people become complete idiots regarding what is "reasonable." Is it reasonable for me to expect privacy on my end of a cell phone call in the middle of a movie theatre? It seems to me that a lot of people on here would claim that I have every right to expect privacy, because it's my phone. But, of course, it's those asshats talking on their phones during the movie that drive us nutty, precisely because it's not a private area. It's damn near as public an environment as you can get.

    Private-public is a false dichotomy and the law needs to change. It's a spectrum, not a binary, and it is not the only relevant axis. If I'm in a place of business, that is a semi-public space. I may make an assessment of the people in that business regarding how much information I want to divulge. If other people have awareness of the happenings in that place of business outside of what I might reasonably expect, then my privacy is being violated, even if the law does not currently acknowledge that. Medical offices are a good example. If I'm in the waiting room, and there are no other patients around, and I divulge my medical complaint to the receptionist, I do not expect that information to be further divulged to third-parties outside of that waiting room unconnected to my medical care.

    The other relevant axis is anonymity. If I'm talking to the receptionist, and there is another patient in the waiting room, I may divulge information on the assumption that the other patient doesn't know who I am. I have a reasonable assumption that people who do know me will not become privy to that information. Anonymity is form of privacy that we can reasonably expect in public spaces, even if the law does not currently recognize that.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • Zilla360Zilla360 Spaaaace! In Space.Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    What's funny to me about REP is how otherwise intelligent, rational people become complete idiots regarding what is "reasonable." Is it reasonable for me to expect privacy on my end of a cell phone call in the middle of a movie theatre? It seems to me that a lot of people on here would claim that I have every right to expect privacy, because it's my phone. But, of course, it's those asshats talking on their phones during the movie that drive us nutty, precisely because it's not a private area. It's damn near as public an environment as you can get.
    You do have the right to expect privacy (as should everyone who doesn't want to live in a 'Minority Report' world would attest). But those rights are rapidly being eroded with dubious due cause.

    Also the GSM protocol has been cracked for a while now. How can you be certain that whoever is operating the cell node closest to you isn't listening in on traffic using Asterisk and data mining calls? You'd require equipment that not only adds to the war of information attrition, but is also practically unaffordable and un-ethical to most sane citizens. :?

  • Jolt ColaJolt Cola Registered User
    edited October 2010
    The joke is in the definition of the curtilage.
    The judges veered into offensiveness when they explained why Pineda-Moreno's driveway was not private. It was open to strangers, they said, such as delivery people and neighborhood children, who could wander across it uninvited.

    Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who dissented from this month's decision refusing to reconsider the case, pointed out whose homes are not open to strangers: rich people's. The court's ruling, he said, means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night.

  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Eh, even without the gates the FBI wouldn't bug a wealthy person without a mountain of evidence anyway - they tend to be able to bring legal powers to bear against the FBI in response.

    XBLIVE: Biggestoverride
    League of Legends: override367
  • Zilla360Zilla360 Spaaaace! In Space.Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    So they secretly bugged you even though you weren't a suspect and no files had been charged against you?

    That's... even worse. D:
    o_O D:

    Which one was Mulder, and which one was Scully?

  • DarlanDarlan Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I wonder what they could do to someone who throws away the surveillance equipment upon finding it. It sounds like they were threatening the guy to return it OR ELSE, but how on earth is it anyone's responsibility to keep track of something someone else secretly stuck under your car?

    steam_sig.png
  • BolthornBolthorn Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Darlan wrote: »
    I wonder what they could do to someone who throws away the surveillance equipment upon finding it. It sounds like they were threatening the guy to return it OR ELSE, but how on earth is it anyone's responsibility to keep track of something someone else secretly stuck under your car?

    I agree. I would have either trashed it immediately or, like another poster said after the picture was posted, called the bomb squad.

    I mean, since it is a tracking device though, I'm sure they could have found it easily if he just threw it away. Unless he threw it away weeks ago and it's at the landfill by now.

    bolthorn_zps8e770883.png
    SteamID : http://steamcommunity.com/id/Bolthorn/
    PSN : Bolthorn
  • Big ClassyBig Classy KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN! Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Out of curiosity, if you were to find someone lying under your car sticking something onto it or some such, what the hell are you expected to do in that situation?

    Personally, if I was to find someone messing with my car, on my property or not, I would pull him/her the fuck away and hold them down whilst I contact the police or anyone local enough to hear me hollering. Probably swing a couple times at him too. Would that get me arrested? I should hope not given I'm attacking someone extremely suspicious looking and possibly dangerous (in my mind).

    edit: And now I really want this to happen :(

    How awesome would that be?

    camo_sig2.png
    My Backloggery PSN: Bigisy24
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Bolthorn wrote: »
    Darlan wrote: »
    I wonder what they could do to someone who throws away the surveillance equipment upon finding it. It sounds like they were threatening the guy to return it OR ELSE, but how on earth is it anyone's responsibility to keep track of something someone else secretly stuck under your car?

    I agree. I would have either trashed it immediately or, like another poster said after the picture was posted, called the bomb squad.

    I mean, since it is a tracking device though, I'm sure they could have found it easily if he just threw it away. Unless he threw it away weeks ago and it's at the landfill by now.

    What the Special Agent in question was actually saying was, "You better return it OR ELSE I'll probably be fired not only because you found my poorly-concealed tracking device but also because I went and fucking lost it."

  • Witch_Hunter_84Witch_Hunter_84 Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Big Isy wrote: »
    Out of curiosity, if you were to find someone lying under your car sticking something onto it or some such, what the hell are you expected to do in that situation?

    Personally, if I was to find someone messing with my car, on my property or not, I would pull him/her the fuck away and hold them down whilst I contact the police or anyone local enough to hear me hollering. Probably swing a couple times at him too. Would that get me arrested? I should hope not given I'm attacking someone extremely suspicious looking and possibly dangerous (in my mind).

    edit: And now I really want this to happen :(

    How awesome would that be?

    I wouldn't advise it, they'd just arrest you anyway and charge you with assaulting a Federal agent. All that stuff about you defending your property wouldn't matter because you hit a law enforcement officer and the justice system has a curious way of siding with the cops whenever one of them is hurt regardless of the circumstances.

    But I may just be bitter because I've seen way too many police abuse cases.

    If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten in your presence.
  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Big Isy wrote: »
    Out of curiosity, if you were to find someone lying under your car sticking something onto it or some such, what the hell are you expected to do in that situation?

    Personally, if I was to find someone messing with my car, on my property or not, I would pull him/her the fuck away and hold them down whilst I contact the police or anyone local enough to hear me hollering. Probably swing a couple times at him too. Would that get me arrested? I should hope not given I'm attacking someone extremely suspicious looking and possibly dangerous (in my mind).

    edit: And now I really want this to happen :(

    How awesome would that be?

    Depends on where you live.

    Some states I bet you could just shoot him in the balls with a shot gun.
    In Canada you could face charges for battery and forced confinement.

    sig_zpsf0994cbd.jpg
  • DarlanDarlan Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Big Isy wrote: »
    Out of curiosity, if you were to find someone lying under your car sticking something onto it or some such, what the hell are you expected to do in that situation?

    Personally, if I was to find someone messing with my car, on my property or not, I would pull him/her the fuck away and hold them down whilst I contact the police or anyone local enough to hear me hollering. Probably swing a couple times at him too. Would that get me arrested? I should hope not given I'm attacking someone extremely suspicious looking and possibly dangerous (in my mind).

    edit: And now I really want this to happen :(

    How awesome would that be?
    I'm not positive, but I think if you're on your private property and he/she has no warrant, you have the right defend it like that exactly, but if you aren't then punching on him will land you in jail.

    But apparently your driveway, or at least your car in your driveway is public now, so basically you'd be screwed no matter what.

    Edit: I was half-kidding about the driveway bit guys, but your condescension is appreciated.

    steam_sig.png
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Jolt Cola wrote: »
    The joke is in the definition of the curtilage.
    The judges veered into offensiveness when they explained why Pineda-Moreno's driveway was not private. It was open to strangers, they said, such as delivery people and neighborhood children, who could wander across it uninvited.

    Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who dissented from this month's decision refusing to reconsider the case, pointed out whose homes are not open to strangers: rich people's. The court's ruling, he said, means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night.

    You do know that this is a split decision, right?

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • twotimesadingotwotimesadingo Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    What's funny to me about REP is how otherwise intelligent, rational people become complete idiots regarding what is "reasonable." Is it reasonable for me to expect privacy on my end of a cell phone call in the middle of a movie theatre? It seems to me that a lot of people on here would claim that I have every right to expect privacy, because it's my phone. But, of course, it's those asshats talking on their phones during the movie that drive us nutty, precisely because it's not a private area. It's damn near as public an environment as you can get.

    Private-public is a false dichotomy and the law needs to change. It's a spectrum, not a binary, and it is not the only relevant axis. If I'm in a place of business, that is a semi-public space. I may make an assessment of the people in that business regarding how much information I want to divulge. If other people have awareness of the happenings in that place of business outside of what I might reasonably expect, then my privacy is being violated, even if the law does not currently acknowledge that. Medical offices are a good example. If I'm in the waiting room, and there are no other patients around, and I divulge my medical complaint to the receptionist, I do not expect that information to be further divulged to third-parties outside of that waiting room unconnected to my medical care.

    The other relevant axis is anonymity. If I'm talking to the receptionist, and there is another patient in the waiting room, I may divulge information on the assumption that the other patient doesn't know who I am. I have a reasonable assumption that people who do know me will not become privy to that information. Anonymity is form of privacy that we can reasonably expect in public spaces, even if the law does not currently recognize that.


    Of course it's not binary; I thought as much was implied by the word "reasonable," and it's contextual legal definition. It very much is a subjective thing. I think much of your argument here has valid points in the sense of a rational discourse/debate to another responsive human being. But that's not how law is written -- it's ludicrous to expect it to be so. The law, and the legal statutes and precedent that follow, don't have to and shouldn't give a damn as to what your assumptions are. Specifically as they relate to what is "reasonable," your contention is just as reasonable as -- presumably -- the officer's/investigator's: anything you say in an area the agent of the government can legally be, is open to use in the investigation or subsequent legal proceedings. The Law Enforcement Officer is under no legal compulsion to reveal his presence to you, and if you make the assumption that the other stranger in the office isn't listening, that's your choice and the consequences are yours.

    This is not to say I don't agree with the premise you present. But as a rejoinder, the receptionist generally - there are some exceptions - won't provide information regarding your disclosure without being compelled by the court, or as a personal choice outside the protection of her contract with the hospital, something for which she would likely be terminated for being in violation to hospital policy, and possibly in contradiction with legal statutes regarding health information (HIPAA comes to mind).

    Information acquired in the scenario above would likely be suppressed prior to criminal trial, and there would possibly be some serious "fruits of the poisonous tree" issues. The argument you make above would undoubtedly come to a judge, and your rational argument would be pitted against the rational argument of the prosecution. That's the whole point of a jury trial/appeal process. As such, I'm not really convinced there's a reason for whole-sale revision to what constitutes REP.

  • twotimesadingotwotimesadingo Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Jolt Cola wrote: »
    The joke is in the definition of the curtilage.
    The judges veered into offensiveness when they explained why Pineda-Moreno's driveway was not private. It was open to strangers, they said, such as delivery people and neighborhood children, who could wander across it uninvited.

    Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who dissented from this month's decision refusing to reconsider the case, pointed out whose homes are not open to strangers: rich people's. The court's ruling, he said, means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night.

    You do know that this is a split decision, right?

    He also somehow missed the numerous notes that the 9th Circuit is... uhh... mercurial when it comes to its decision-making.

    SCOTUS has already ruled on this. If it goes to the Nine again, it'd be damn near the quickest ruling they've made in 12 years.





    .... I hope.

  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Bolthorn wrote: »
    Darlan wrote: »
    I wonder what they could do to someone who throws away the surveillance equipment upon finding it. It sounds like they were threatening the guy to return it OR ELSE, but how on earth is it anyone's responsibility to keep track of something someone else secretly stuck under your car?

    I agree. I would have either trashed it immediately or, like another poster said after the picture was posted, called the bomb squad.

    I mean, since it is a tracking device though, I'm sure they could have found it easily if he just threw it away. Unless he threw it away weeks ago and it's at the landfill by now.

    Put it on the ground and run it over at high speed until it's shattered?

    sigtk.jpg
  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Your preference for what "reasonable expectation of privacy" should mean is not what it does mean. And the logic that "the only people that might happen to be watching you are random strangers" is, well... I guess calling it "logic" at all might be a bit of stretch.

    Simply put, what you say or do in public is not private. That's why there are two separate words to identify each environment: "public" and "private," for those of you counting. I don't mean it to sound condescending, but I would genuinely urge you to take a look at the 4th Amednment, and then review your above contention; nowhere in the scenario outlined above is the privacy of your "person, house, papers or effects" infringed. I'm genuinely curious about your argument; I don't seem to hold with the general P.A. view that all cops are bad, while all individuals are good and could never being doing something that might warrant the interest of Law Enforcement.

    If this is you when you don't mean to sound condescending, then I'd hate to see you when you do.

    I think Feral gave an extremely good example of precisely what I am talking about:
    Spoiler:

    Edit: as you apparently saw in the meantime.
    As CangoFett mentioned, the legal view of trackers in the abstract is that they are a substitute for the more-expensive man-hours of an officer/investigator. They generally do nothing more that what a Law Enforcement Official could do individually, and often do significantly less. The 9th Circuit ruling that trackers can be placed on vehicles even within the curtilage of a home, by the way, is not one that's been upheld in other circuits. Almost everywhere else in the nation, you'd need a warrant to place a tracker on a vehicle parked on private property.

    The worry with unrestricted use of trackers is that they make something that was expensive and often impractical--collecting a complete record of a person's movements over weeks or even months--into a relative triviality.

    And although it strikes me as obviously perverse that they can, in the 9th circuit, enter your property in order to plant the tracker, even if they didn't surely everyone routinely parks their car on public property and subsequently lets it out of eyeshot. If there's no problem with the trackers per se, then the fact that in most places they can't plant them on your driveway seems like a pretty pathetic protection.

  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    anything you say in an area the agent of the government can legally be, is open to use in the investigation or subsequent legal proceedings. The Law Enforcement Officer is under no legal compulsion to reveal his presence to you, and if you make the assumption that the other stranger in the office isn't listening, that's your choice and the consequences are yours.

    This isn't so much an argument as it is just a restatement of your conclusion.

  • Witch_Hunter_84Witch_Hunter_84 Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    SammyF wrote: »
    This exactly same thing happened to me back in the 1980s -- the interior door panel on the family minivan falls off as the door swings shut, and oh look our car has been bugged.

    Although in that particular case, I didn't mind; they went through a FISA court to obtain a warrant, and in any case we later learned that we weren't the targets of the investigation -- rather we were close enough to an ongoing investigation and someone associated with the subject of that investigation that the FBI became concerned that we may have started asking the wrong people about things we noticed. So they bugged the car to find out if we knew anything and were talking about it with anyone.

    Oh, and they totally did ask for all of their equipment back.

    This is exactly what I've been wondering. How can it require a warrant to place a GPS device in someone's car who isn't even a suspect in the case they are trying to make, but not require a warrant when tracking the person of interest?

    If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten in your presence.
  • HozHoz Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Because it requires a warrant to allow any evidence collected by the tracking device to be admissible in court. People who will never be charged the FBI doesn't need to collect evidence in this manner since it won't go to court. I assume they track these people to connect the dots around the people they do want to charge.

  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb.

    I am sure Iranians are nice people.

    (looking forward to my free tracking device)

  • Witch_Hunter_84Witch_Hunter_84 Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Barcardi wrote: »
    bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb.

    I am sure Iranians are nice people.

    (looking forward to my free tracking device)

    Dude, now they're going to put tracking devices in all of our cars just because we know you.

    Thanks

    If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten in your presence.
  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Barcardi wrote: »
    bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb.

    I am sure Iranians are nice people.

    (looking forward to my free tracking device)

    Dude, now they're going to put tracking devices in all of our cars just because we know you.

    Thanks

    Its free craigslist money, just sell it to some Mexican cartels in LA, San Diego, or Arizona, and they will in turn put the trackers on border patrol trucks and the circle of life will be complete. Its really no worse than being on facebook.

    Or rather being on facebook spamming a friend of mine who works for the FBI in the currently discussed city, mocking him.

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    SammyF wrote: »
    This exactly same thing happened to me back in the 1980s -- the interior door panel on the family minivan falls off as the door swings shut, and oh look our car has been bugged.

    Although in that particular case, I didn't mind; they went through a FISA court to obtain a warrant, and in any case we later learned that we weren't the targets of the investigation -- rather we were close enough to an ongoing investigation and someone associated with the subject of that investigation that the FBI became concerned that we may have started asking the wrong people about things we noticed. So they bugged the car to find out if we knew anything and were talking about it with anyone.

    Oh, and they totally did ask for all of their equipment back.

    This is exactly what I've been wondering. How can it require a warrant to place a GPS device in someone's car who isn't even a suspect in the case they are trying to make, but not require a warrant when tracking the person of interest?

    I'll let you in on a dirty little secret:

    The average special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigations is neither as rigorous nor as competent as the average special agent during the 1980s. And while a lot of people contributing to this thread want to argue that it's because of how the law has evolved since the 1980s, that actually has very little to do with it; rather, it's a matter of personal politics leading to a shift in agency culture. When Director J. Edgar Hoover died in the early '70s, political Washington heaved a gigantic sigh of relief -- Hoover had files on everyone that he could pull out at any time and wield for political leverage. Most of that information was obtained through less-than-legal means. With Hoover out of the way, the executive and legislative branches got together to try and curtail the power of the FBI and bring it in full compliance with the law. Directors could no longer serve for more than ten years, and legal ethics became a huge touchstone in the community of special agents in order to prevent an agency culture that would turn a blind eye to the sort of black-bag jobs that Hoover loved.

    The long and the short of is that by the 1980s, if a Special Agent wanted to ask for a second cup of coffee with breakfast, he was automatically inclined to feel like he should get a warrant before calling the waitress over.

    That sort of culture doesn't exist in the Bureau anymore; our politicians today are less terrified of a strong FBI director holding secret files detailing all of their failings and indiscretions than they are of being accused of being found asleep at the switch in the event of another 9/11. Just like the White House decided to issue legal findings about how waterboarding is now suddenly legal, the Justice Department started preferring it when Special Agents erred on the side of Golly, I sure hope no one challenges the admissibility of this evidence in court.

    At least starting with Gonzales. Ashcroft was actually pretty good at respecting the culture at DOJ.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Of course it's not binary; I thought as much was implied by the word "reasonable," and it's contextual legal definition. It very much is a subjective thing. I think much of your argument here has valid points in the sense of a rational discourse/debate to another responsive human being. But that's not how law is written -- it's ludicrous to expect it to be so. The law, and the legal statutes and precedent that follow, don't have to and shouldn't give a damn as to what your assumptions are. Specifically as they relate to what is "reasonable," your contention is just as reasonable as -- presumably -- the officer's/investigator's: anything you say in an area the agent of the government can legally be, is open to use in the investigation or subsequent legal proceedings.

    Yep, there has to be some appeal to popularity here in the discussion of what is and is not "reasonable;" the law should be expected to follow, to some degree, community standards.

    I think that the vast majority of people would find it entirely unreasonable that their car was bugged or tracked, just as they would find it unreasonable to be followed around by an unmarked police car at all hours for several days. I think the majority of people would have an expectation that no single agency or person would be surreptitiously tracking their movements in all places at all times for an extended period.
    The Law Enforcement Officer is under no legal compulsion to reveal his presence to you, and if you make the assumption that the other stranger in the office isn't listening, that's your choice and the consequences are yours.

    Reasonable consequences. If that stranger were to, for example, put a cell phone camera picture of me on his Facebook with the post, "Hey, look at this sorry fucker. He has SuperAIDS!" then I'd find that unreasonable. (BTW, I find humor sites like People of Walmart to be in bad taste largely for this reason.)

    And of course this expectation relies on a notion that public spaces should still reasonably grant a certain amount of privacy and anonymity with regards to my exposure outside of the immediate space.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I'd really like to see the blog post the guy wrote that got him a tracking device put on his car.

  • twotimesadingotwotimesadingo Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    MrMister wrote: »
    If this is you when you don't mean to sound condescending, then I'd hate to see you when you do.

    Yeah... I'm bad with my internet voice. Honest apologies. The only explanation I can offer is that most of my forum discussions relate to video games, and that's a sure way to develop pretty rough edges.
    MrMister wrote: »
    The worry with unrestricted use of trackers is that they make something that was expensive and often impractical--collecting a complete record of a person's movements over weeks or even months--into a relative triviality.

    You know, I don't necessarily disagree. As a point to this argument, though, I think it's relevant to introduce both the financial cost, and the opportunity cost(s), involved with utilizing a tracker on a suspect's vehicle. The loss of one, as SammyF mentioned, can severely affect an officer/investigator's employment; it costs the issuing Agency money; it reduces the number of available trackers on other, possibly higher-priority targets; it clogs up server space and bandwidth; it introduces an element to the surveillance that -- as mentioned above -- could blow the investigation in the event of an oil change or body work. And while none of these items may make you feel better with how the law is written, it definitely should make you as an individual less leery with their use. The decision-making process of when and how to utilize a tracker, as I understand it, is quite involved.


    ... Unless you're doing something wrong, I guess. Then you should always watch your back.
    MrMister wrote: »
    And although it strikes me as obviously perverse that they can, in the 9th circuit, enter your property in order to plant the tracker, even if they didn't surely everyone routinely parks their car on public property and subsequently lets it out of eyeshot. If there's no problem with the trackers per se, then the fact that in most places they can't plant them on your driveway seems like a pretty pathetic protection.

    I agree. I think that ruling is absolutely ridiculous. As I mentioned though, SCTOUS has already ruled on the issue of trackers and their placement. If this gets appealed and the "10th Justice" sees it, it'll be the first case ruled on, simply because it'll be a quick review of SCTOUS case-law precedent, and a quick decision.


    Feral wrote: »
    Yep, there has to be some appeal to popularity here in the discussion of what is and is not "reasonable;" the law should be expected to follow, to some degree, community standards.

    I think that the vast majority of people would find it entirely unreasonable that their car was bugged or tracked, just as they would find it unreasonable to be followed around by an unmarked police car at all hours for several days. I think the majority of people would have an expectation that no single agency or person would be surreptitiously tracking their movements in all places at all times for an extended period.

    I guess agree to disagree? At some point, there is divergence of individual ideas of what's reasonable. I personally think the idea of privacy as it relates to the position of my vehicle is asinine, but I guess that's me. The argument you made earlier about statements in a hospital waiting room are more salient, I think, but I still personally disagree. As I mentioned, in that specific example case, I would not find it surprising at all for that argument to be heard by a Court of Appeals.

    Those man-hours would not be expended on someone for whom there was no other evidence. Surveillance doesn't occur in a vacuum; evidence supports spending the huge amount of money on those hours/overtime/etc to get a precise view of an individual/organization. In the specific case presented in this thread, the FBI Case Agent would have one hell of a time justifying the hours put in on physical surveillance in the absence of any indicators of criminal activity.

    ... Or maybe he would have, before the wholesale targeting of Muslims with any connections beyond the borders of the contiguous U.S. Maybe SammyF can chime in on this particular shift in FBI policy?
    Feral wrote: »
    The Law Enforcement Officer is under no legal compulsion to reveal his presence to you, and if you make the assumption that the other stranger in the office isn't listening, that's your choice and the consequences are yours.

    Reasonable consequences. If that stranger were to, for example, put a cell phone camera picture of me on his Facebook with the post, "Hey, look at this sorry fucker. He has SuperAIDS!" then I'd find that unreasonable. (BTW, I find humor sites like People of Walmart to be in bad taste largely for this reason.)

    And of course this expectation relies on a notion that public spaces should still reasonably grant a certain amount of privacy and anonymity with regards to my exposure outside of the immediate space.

    I don't think so (though I could be wrong; I'm not a lawyer). There's no legal standing for the argument that your statements in a publicly-defined area should have reasonable consequences. There's actually a metric ton of case law indicating the exact opposite. And your point about People of Walmart actually contains its own counter-point: the photographing of people in those stores indicates that the photographers don't see the act as a violation of the privacy of their subjects. If you want community standards, that's a pretty good one (though what it says about our community, well... the band played as the Titanic sank, right? At least we might get some decent music out of the descent).

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I'm not really clear on why my name's getting bolded in that previous post like I'm...I don't even know what you're expecting, twotimesadingo. Would you like my opinion on this matter?

    My opinion on the matter is that a law enforcement officer acting in an investigatory capacity has an obligation to the public (and more specifically to the prosecuting attorney who takes over responsibility for the case once the warrants have finally been served) to build as strong a case as possible. My opinion further is that a responsible investigatory agent does this by following both the letter and spirit of the law to the greatest degree possible. An irresponsible agent will build a case in such a way that the prosecuting attorney can probably successfully handle the majority of challenges to the admissibility of any evidence that he collects; a responsible and competent agent rather builds his case and collects his evidence in such a way that the defendant cannot reasonably challenge its admissibility in the first place.

    If we can all agree on those three premises about the role of a law enforcement officer or agent in a criminal investigation, then we can move on to a quick reading of Section F, Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure:
    (2) Warrant for a Tracking Device.
    (A) Noting the Time. The officer executing a tracking-device warrant must enter on it the exact date and time the device was installed and the period during which it was used.

    (B) Return. Within 10 calendar days after the use of the tracking device has ended, the officer executing the warrant must return it to the judge designated in the warrant.

    (C) Service. Within 10 calendar days after the use of the tracking device has ended, the officer executing a tracking-device warrant must serve a copy of the warrant on the person who was tracked or whose property was tracked. Service may be accomplished by delivering a copy to the person who, or whose property, was tracked; or by leaving a copy at the person’s residence or usual place of abode with an individual of suitable age and discretion who resides at that location and by mailing a copy to the person’s last known address. Upon request of the government, the judge may delay notice as provided in Rule 41(f)(3).

    (3) Delayed Notice. Upon the government’s request, a magistrate judge—or if authorized by Rule 41(b), a judge of a state court of record—may delay any notice required by this rule if the delay is authorized by statute.

    There is already an established procedure known to Federal law enforcement agencies for placing a tracking device upon a subject's vehicle while preserving to the greatest possible degree that person's Fourth Amendment rights in a way that (a) would have allowed them to place the tracking device, and (b) allows for the unimpeachable admission of any evidence collected by that device into a court of law. I am at loss when it comes to explaining why the Special Agents in question didn't follow this procedure to the letter; leaving aside whatever the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals might have to say about the matter, it's not like obtaining a warrant for something like this is hard. There's a section of Rule 41 that says you can apply for a warrant like this over the telephone (Rule 41(e)(3), for those of you playing at home). While such evidence may still be admissible if we take the 9th Circuit's decision in United States v. Pineda Moreno as precedent, why would a responsible Special Agent put the prosecutor in a position where he has to spend time fighting off an almost inevitable appeal?

    More broadly, there seems to be a growing trend in law enforcement and in political sentiment within both parties that the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution are meant to protect what we broadly term The Rights of the Accused, and that they are a hindrance to conducting a criminal investigation.

    THIS IS PATENTLY A FALSE CLAIM.

    Due process rights do protect the rights of the accused; however, their larger and more-important role in our society (and all societies that have due process rights) is to preserve and protect the integrity of the criminal justice system itself. They establish the frame-work of guidelines by which the People can assert a Defendant's guilt while still allowing the Defendant all reasonable opportunity to refute those accusations; and in an adversarial system of criminal justice such as ours, this two-sided argument is what eventually allows us to conclusively establish an individual's guilt or innocence the greatest possible degree of accuracy.

    In conclusion, I don't actually give a shit whether you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your driveway or not. And I don't think the race of the subject of the investigation in question has any bearing on the matter, either. It's a stupid argument that detracts from a more-important question -- if we have a process by which law enforcement agents can apply for warrants to execute precisely in these circumstances, why are they not following that established procedure?

    The only conclusion I can come up with is laziness. And I hate lazy investigators even more than I hate crime. They fail to protect the rights of the innocent, they fail to protect the rights of the accused, and they ultimately fail to protect the public because they build imperfect cases. Ultimately, whether you're on the side of law and order or on the side of a kid who found a GPS tracker underneath his car, we should all be appalled by this particular case.

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