08 October 2010

FBI & The Warrantless GPS Trackers

Ahhhh.  Those pesky GPS trackers with warrantless tracking are back in the news today.  

Wired has the story that a US born citizen of Arab decent has been under FBI surveillance for the last few months.  Of course, (as covered here before) that surveillance included the use of a (unconfirmed) non-warranted GPS tracker being attached to Yasir Afifi’s personal vehicle.  

Afifi found the tracker on his vehicle due to a wire sticking out and decided to have a friend remove it from his vehicle.  Instead of ditching it in a lake or sticking it on someone else’s car, Afifi and his friend took pictures and posted them to the internet.  Of course, after that, the FBI was relatively quick to knock on Mr. Afifi’s door and ask for their device back.  

Obviously, there is more to this story than is being reported currently but at least it looks like a good test case to for the ACLU to challenge the new ruling that I’ve written about before.  Hopefully, the agents that have been surveilling Mr. Afifi did so with the support of a warrant, but I certainly wouldn’t count on that being the case. 

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