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FBI caught surveiling American citizen, demand tracking device back.
Afifi, a business marketing student at Mission College in Santa Clara, discovered the device last Sunday when he took his car to a local garage for an oil change. When a mechanic at Ali’s Auto Care raised his Ford Lincoln LS on hydraulic lifts, Afifi saw a wire sticking out near the right rear wheel and exhaust. Garage owner Mazher Khan confirmed for Wired.com that he also saw it. A closer inspection showed it connected to a battery pack and transmitter, which were attached to the car with a magnet. Khan asked Afifi if he wanted the device removed and when Afifi said yes, Khan pulled it easily from the car’s chassis.
After he identified the device by posting pictures of it on the internet with the question "what is this", it was identified as a tracking device made by a company that sells such devices exclusively to law enforcement. He was later confronted outside his house by FBI agents and police officers, questioned, and was asked for the device back. I say 'asked for' in only the loosest terms because they also added "We’re going to make this much more difficult for you if you don’t cooperate" (It is expensive).
Apperently attatching the device is legal though.
in the wake of a recent ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals saying it’s legal for law enforcement to secretly place a tracking device on a suspect’s car without getting a warrant, even if the car is parked in a private driveway.
Now I'm not too sure on the exact legalities of this situation, but isn't there some sort of probable cause that the FBI needs to establish before just throwing a GPS device into someone's car, violating their civil liberties somewhat to do so? Or is the suspect here just brown enough for the FBI to go "National Security" and everything's justified? I'm kind of leaning towards violation of civil liberties here, but the subject is just so murky nowadays it's almost impossible to be sure. Hella embarrassing for the FBI I must say if their tracking equipment can be found while getting your brakes checked.
If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten in your presence.