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FBI caught surveiling American citizen, demand tracking device back.

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Posts

  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited October 2010
    Assumptions that most everyone in this thread are making:

    1. The FBI had no warrant. If you look at the article, there is no proof that they either did or did not have a warrant. In fact, the only time it is mentioned is by someone saying they are sure they did have a warrant.

    2. This is a result of the 9th Court ruling. Again, there is no suggestion that his car was bugged because it was sitting in his driveway. There are a multitude of other places it could have happened. The article only mentions the ruling, but doesn't draw a direct relation, because it is clearly an intentional correlation implies causation play on the part of the website. Never mind that, er, they also say the surveillance has probably been occuring for 3-6 months, and the court ruling was given only 1.5 months ago, which would make causation impossible. Apparently everyone here fell for it.

    3. There is no case to answer. You simply don't know. There may well be a case to answer for the guy, or for his friend who the FBI were interested in. You are taking his word as a guarantee that there is not, while assuming that the FBI is acting recklessly with no reason. Really?

    4. The subject is trustworthy, the government are not. Or as MrMister said: "There is absolutely no reason to give law enforcement the benefit of the doubt here." Is there any more reason to give the subject the benefit of the doubt? I'm happy that you are innocent until proven guilty, but you can apply that principle to the FBI as well. All that the article offers is the story of his subject and his mechanic. It gives his version of what FBI agents apparently said to him. This has been read here as: he must be right, and the FBI must be wrong. There is no actual evidence for either, and not one person has suggested that it might be a good idea to hear what the other side of the story is. Apparently the possibility of the FBI just randomly tracking Arab-American citizens for absolutely no reason is much more likely than the possibility that he has been linked to suspicious activity in others - which is all the article suggests - and is therefore under surveillence.

    Whatever you think about this subject, there are some glaring anti-government assumptions and prejudices that are obviously twisting how almost everyone on this thread has seen the issue. People should probably read a bit deeper and think a bit clearer before they jump onto the next bandwagon.

  • Witch_Hunter_84Witch_Hunter_84 Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I think I find myself taking the side of people allegedly wronged by law enforcement more often than not mainly because I believe that those in law enforcement should be held to a higher standard of duty and responsibility than those who are the subjects of an investigation. You're right though, there is no real way to tell who is in the right here, but I'm immediately put off by federal agents confronting a subject in force and making veiled threats against him (saying that they'll "make things difficult for him") when he's not even the primary subject of investigation, just an aquaintance of the subject. Plus, there seems to be some precedent that you have to have a warrant for a tracking device for parties tied to the subject of an open investigation, and the fact that they may have skipped over that step kind of alludes to a certain disregard for protocol in an effort to expedite the investigation.

    If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten in your presence.
  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine 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)

    hahahaha imagine that
    a racket of people who try to sound suspicious in order sell these devices on ebay

    sc.jpgsc.jpg
  • InkyblotsInkyblots Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Honestly the only thing on my mind after reading this article is how sloppy of a job someone must of done on this guy's car. I mean I worked at a car place for short period and it was all too common how many round trips customers had to make to figure out specific problems with their car. Of course, some of these things are a little harder to pinpoint than a strange device planted on your vehicle, and it's not like they can stand in someone's driveway and start taking out the engine to put it somewhere more subtle. But from an outsider's perspective it just sounds really sloppy.

  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited October 2010
    but I'm immediately put off by federal agents confronting a subject in force and making veiled threats against him (saying that they'll "make things difficult for him") when he's not even the primary subject of investigation, just an aquaintance of the subject.

    Assumption 4, you're automatically basing your judgement on belief in one side of the story.
    Plus, there seems to be some precedent that you have to have a warrant for a tracking device for parties tied to the subject of an open investigation, and the fact that they may have skipped over that step kind of alludes to a certain disregard for protocol in an effort to expedite the investigation.

    Assumption 1, there is zero evidence that they "skipped over" having a warrant.

    I don't mind people taking sides, it's inevitable. I just ask that people are logically consistent with their arguments rather than letting biased assumptions drive what they believe; or more to the point, letting what they want to believe driving what they do believe.

    I'm fairly sure that, given other examples, the people posting here would think that biases which drive behaviour are bad...

  • FagatronFagatron Registered User
    edited October 2010
    Have we established the legality of them planting this device, without a warrant, because for the sake of sating my interest that's what I'm talking about.

    How would that relate to something like tagging a window of a car with a laser mic so you can overhear a conversation? Or a house?

    I am just curious where a non-invasive surveillance method like that would fall under the law. Technically you're not observing something that wasn't already there, however invisible to the naked human eye/ear before you added the machine.


    If it is deemed legal to track every citizen's vehicle without a warrant I could see a future where that's just standard operating procedure when we get to a time where the computer and network boundaries allow it without it being a burden. The technology is only going to make it easier to keep tabs on people, the same way investigators do even.

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


    Several rounds of tear gas are going disappear and reappear in your toilet, hard wired to the plunger after this "friend" takes you out for a night of partying. If I had a friend in law enforcement or a facebook friend in law enforcement, I would give them a wide berth.

    Back on topic, I am kind of paranoid and find all people suspect so surveillance by law enforcement is not unreasonable to me. I also tend to discover that people are horribly stupid with their actions and have listened to total strangers read their social security numbers into a cellphone call on the bus.

    As far as the legality goes, I thought the last major court ruling made it easier to get a tracking device and if SammyF's post is true (much respect to you, I think your name was bolded to summon you), then the lack of a warrant reflects his theory of a lack of effort.

    So, while I find all humans to be villainous curs that should be tracked in anticipation of their vile deeds, if you are too stupid to keep your head in the game, your methods pure as virgin snow, and your case unquestionable in the eyes of the law and unbreakable in the eyes of the defense, RETIRE.

  • twotimesadingotwotimesadingo Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    SammyF wrote: »
    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?

    As far as the legality goes, I thought the last major court ruling made it easier to get a tracking device and if SammyF's post is true (much respect to you, I think your name was bolded to summon you), then the lack of a warrant reflects his theory of a lack of effort.

    Yeah... Definitely didn't mean to upset you. I was merely thinking that you were really the only poster leveraging actual knowledge instead of the the set of biases and assumptions Altalicious mentioned, and thus was hoping to get your input.

    Inasmuch as I think this particular argument goes, I'm pretty firmly behind Altalicious's point that, lacking a better understanding of the requirements involved, and the behavior of the Agents, the current line of debate hinges too much on an ingrained perspective rather than a clear response to the case at hand.

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Assumptions that most everyone in this thread are making:

    1. The FBI had no warrant. If you look at the article, there is no proof that they either did or did not have a warrant. In fact, the only time it is mentioned is by someone saying they are sure they did have a warrant.

    Just to quibble a little bit here -- the retired agent quoted was interviewed on background, not because he has direct knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the case. Meanwhile, if the FBI did have a warrant for this surveillance, they're required to service that warrant within ten days of that device's removal. While that can be delayed with the approval of a magistrate under Rule 41(f)(3), the intent of that section is to prevent the compulsory service of a warrant from compromising any other lawful surreptitious surveillance which may be ongoing. Generally speaking, in most circumstances it would have been appropriate to go ahead and service the warrant when they retrieved the device because their surveillance has already been compromised.

    The exception would be if they didn't want the individual to know the time and date of the installation of the device (which has to be noted on the warrant). I can imagine a couple of circumstances in which it would be better for the Government to delay releasing that information until the conclusion of their investigation. But I imagine that one reason that there's a large degree of doubt as to the diligence of the agents in question is their use of an amateurish device that was inexpertly concealed -- every layman reading the story knows that the agents fucked this one up at least once, and it's therefore not a huge leap of imagination to consider the possibility that they fucked it up twice.

  • DrxLecterDrxLecter Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Ego wrote: »
    I'd really like to see the blog post the guy wrote that got him a tracking device put on his car.
    Are there really no redditors here?

    The post in question:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ciiag/so_if_my_deodorant_could_be_a_bomb_why_are_you/c0sve5q

    The original thread asking about the tracking device:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/dmh5s/does_this_mean_the_fbi_is_after_us/%E2%80%9D

    The person who posted to reddit was not the person with the tracking device on the car. They were friends.

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    DrxLecter wrote: »
    Ego wrote: »
    I'd really like to see the blog post the guy wrote that got him a tracking device put on his car.
    Are there really no redditors here?

    The post in question:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ciiag/so_if_my_deodorant_could_be_a_bomb_why_are_you/c0sve5q

    The original thread asking about the tracking device:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/dmh5s/does_this_mean_the_fbi_is_after_us/%E2%80%9D

    The person who posted to reddit was not the person with the tracking device on the car. They were friends.

    I absolutely love how every blog post from some knucklehead speculating about how easy it must be to commit some sort of terrible violent atrocity always says something dismissively like, "i mean all you really need is a bomb." Oh, yeah, dude, I'm sure that's the easy part.

  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Um, making an explosive device isn't super difficult, Sammy. I knew a kid who lived out in the country who was making small explosives from the time he was about 15 (like M80 sized things). I asked him how big he could make them and the answer was basically "I could probably make a house disappear I guess?"

    sigtk.jpg
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Um, making an explosive device isn't super difficult, Sammy. I knew a kid who lived out in the country who was making small explosives from the time he was about 15 (like M80 sized things). I asked him how big he could make them and the answer was basically "I could probably make a house disappear I guess?"

    The conventional wisdom is that it's really easy to do; the reality of the situation is that every single act of terrorism that has been attempted within the United States over the past several years has failed because the perpetrators failed to build a device with enough explosive power to cause any real damage. The reason for this is that we (by which I mean the American government) are so far inside the logistics for securing the necessary materials and technical know-how that in some case we've infiltrated terrorist networks by providing them with a bomb-maker.

  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    L|ama wrote: »
    fertiliser and diesel, no need to get fancy

    Still takes some work, not to mention that after OKC that kind of thing is tracked. Plus it limits target selection a bit. (you're not bringing down a plane with an ANFO bomb)

  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Pseudoephedrine is heavily controlled too, but meth manufactureres still manage to get plenty. I've never tried myself because I don't really want to go to jail, but I've always wondered what the hard part in making and using bombs is. There must be something to make it harder than what it seems.

  • Witch_Hunter_84Witch_Hunter_84 Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Lets . . . um . . . lets not go down the whole "what materials are easily obtainable and can be used to make bombs" over the internet. I'm pretty sure that's how all this trouble started in the first place on Redditt.

    If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten in your presence.
  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    If nerds talking about logistics on the internet is really a national security problem, I think there are bigger problems than the discussion itself.

  • Speed RacerSpeed Racer I'm Speed Racer and I drive real fast. I drive real fast, I'm gonna last.Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I don't understand the thing about being allowed to bug a car that's in an open driveway

    who cares if the driveway itself isn't an area where you're entitled to privacy? Isn't, you know, the car? They're tampering with a piece of your property without your knowledge or consent. That strikes me as something that should be illegal without a warrant?

    speedsig2_zps388d2098.jpg
  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    L|ama wrote: »
    Pseudoephedrine is heavily controlled too, but meth manufactureres still manage to get plenty. I've never tried myself because I don't really want to go to jail, but I've always wondered what the hard part in making and using bombs is. There must be something to make it harder than what it seems.

    I'm instantly reminded of the Boondocks episode where they try make crack by following instructions from Wikipedia.

    It's bound to be a disaster unless you've got some experience with chemistry. Much like most of my cooking attempts.

    edit: Aslo, what's wrong with sticking to the basics like Gasoline or Propane?

    sig_zpsf0994cbd.jpg
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    L|ama wrote: »
    Pseudoephedrine is heavily controlled too, but meth manufactureres still manage to get plenty. I've never tried myself because I don't really want to go to jail, but I've always wondered what the hard part in making and using bombs is. There must be something to make it harder than what it seems.

    edit: Aslo, what's wrong with sticking to the basics like Gasoline or Propane?

    Besides the fact that it doesn't actually work the same way it does in the movies?

  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Making a bomb with just petrol would be very hard. It's not the liquid itself that burns, it's the vapour above it. To make an explosion you would have to confine some of the vapour at an optimal fuel/air ratio, and even then it's not terribly strong. I think they did it on mythbusters at some point. Propane is the same sort of problem.

  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Remember the Anarchists Cookbook? This whole thing reminds me of the running rumor in high school that if you bought it on amazon.com you would instantly be put on a govt blacklist of some sort. In about a week of hearing that rumor everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, had that book.

    I dont think its in print anymore.

  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    isn't that like... shit? Chemistry textbooks and wikipedia have taught me more about explosives than any fringe stuff I read on the net

  • autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    L|ama wrote: »
    Pseudoephedrine is heavily controlled too, but meth manufactureres still manage to get plenty. I've never tried myself because I don't really want to go to jail, but I've always wondered what the hard part in making and using bombs is. There must be something to make it harder than what it seems.

    Probably the detonating mechanism/electronics. It needs to work pretty perfectly pretty much, or they either blow themselves up or no one

    sc.jpgsc.jpg
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    L|ama wrote: »
    Pseudoephedrine is heavily controlled too, but meth manufactureres still manage to get plenty. I've never tried myself because I don't really want to go to jail, but I've always wondered what the hard part in making and using bombs is. There must be something to make it harder than what it seems.

    Probably the detonating mechanism/electronics. It needs to work pretty perfectly pretty much, or they either blow themselves up or no one

    Someone watches battlestar galactica a few to many times and boom.

  • hippofanthippofant Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    My question is, can they really demand their tracking device back? Doesn't placing it on your car suggest some sort of intent to transfer property?

    I mean, I take my computer, stick it in your car, and leave, I think it's granted that it's your computer now. Admittedly, a computer isn't the same as a tracking device, but is he really obligated to return the device?

  • kildykildy Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    hippofant wrote: »
    My question is, can they really demand their tracking device back? Doesn't placing it on your car suggest some sort of intent to transfer property?

    I mean, I take my computer, stick it in your car, and leave, I think it's granted that it's your computer now. Admittedly, a computer isn't the same as a tracking device, but is he really obligated to return the device?

    More than likely. Police attaching a bug to a device doesn't scream intent to transfer, it screams intent to use temporarily.

    If covertly placing something implicitly transferred ownership, drug busts would be hilariously easy.

  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Barcardi wrote: »
    Remember the Anarchists Cookbook? This whole thing reminds me of the running rumor in high school that if you bought it on amazon.com you would instantly be put on a govt blacklist of some sort. In about a week of hearing that rumor everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, had that book.

    I dont think its in print anymore.

    that kind of enters the everyone's-a-suspect territory. It's just too much shit to track to be useful.
    I suppose it could be narrowed down to every brown person that buys it but it's still a kind of find-a-needle-in-a-haystack approach to policing.

    Also, anyone who took a film class in collage should be on that theoretical list along with anyone that took chemistry... or can use google... I wonder if there's an app for that too.

    sig_zpsf0994cbd.jpg
  • randombattlerandombattle Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    L|ama wrote: »
    Pseudoephedrine is heavily controlled too, but meth manufactureres still manage to get plenty. I've never tried myself because I don't really want to go to jail, but I've always wondered what the hard part in making and using bombs is. There must be something to make it harder than what it seems.

    Probably the detonating mechanism/electronics. It needs to work pretty perfectly pretty much, or they either blow themselves up or no one

    Someone watches battlestar galactica a few to many times and boom.

    You guys are focusing on the wrong part I think. It's easy to make a bomb but making one and not raising suspicion is the hard part.

    I think anyone could go into a store and buy the materials to make a bomb but I think people would notice and you probably wouldn't get very far. That's what it's about getting enough stuff and putting it all together and not getting caught before you go do whatever. That's where the police and FBI and stuff come in there is a big time gap between those steps and by then they figure out what you are gonna do with it and stop it before it happens. In theory anyway.

    itsstupidbutidontcare2.gif
    I never asked for this!
  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited October 2010
    L|ama wrote: »
    Pseudoephedrine is heavily controlled too, but meth manufactureres still manage to get plenty. I've never tried myself because I don't really want to go to jail, but I've always wondered what the hard part in making and using bombs is. There must be something to make it harder than what it seems.

    Probably the detonating mechanism/electronics. It needs to work pretty perfectly pretty much, or they either blow themselves up or no one

    Someone watches battlestar galactica a few to many times and boom.

    You guys are focusing on the wrong part I think. It's easy to make a bomb but making one and not raising suspicion is the hard part.

    I think anyone could go into a store and buy the materials to make a bomb but I think people would notice and you probably wouldn't get very far. That's what it's about getting enough stuff and putting it all together and not getting caught before you go do whatever. That's where the police and FBI and stuff come in there is a big time gap between those steps and by then they figure out what you are gonna do with it and stop it before it happens. In theory anyway.

    Is right. There are a lot of steps over a substantial time that get someone from being radicalised to the point of planning an actual attack. The police look at that whole spectrum instead of just one element, which is why people get caught. For example, it's fairly easy, in a world with the internet, supermarkets and standardised brand products, for someone to buy materials from multiple different sources to avoid detection in the actual buying part.

    It's also why you get seemingly stupid FBI stories such as following someone because they said they would like to blow something up on the internet. The individual case sounds wrong, but look at the whole picture and it's pretty effective.

  • SolandraSolandra Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    kildy wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    My question is, can they really demand their tracking device back? Doesn't placing it on your car suggest some sort of intent to transfer property?

    I mean, I take my computer, stick it in your car, and leave, I think it's granted that it's your computer now. Admittedly, a computer isn't the same as a tracking device, but is he really obligated to return the device?

    More than likely. Police attaching a bug to a device doesn't scream intent to transfer, it screams intent to use temporarily.

    If covertly placing something implicitly transferred ownership, drug busts would be hilariously easy.

    I don't think they get the luxury of demanding it back, simply because they were trying to do something covert and failed. I mean, really? It turns the entire situation on it's ear, from something potentially serious, where they're trying to get covert information about a potential terrorist contact, to n00btastic demonstration of sophomoric fumbling. It also ruins the surprise involved, because if the guy didn't know he was on a watch-list before, he certainly does now.

    It would have been better, in my not so humble (or professional, I just watch too much TV) opinion to just not claim it. That way, if he *was* a terrorist, maybe he'll start thinking his own guys were turning against him, planting the seed of paranoia and mistrust, potentially bringing down the deep and intricate plot to destroy - eh, never mind. The ethical questions of bugging someone's stuff with or without a warrant aside, it was still good for a giggle.

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