Categorized | National

Big Brother May be Tracking You

 

 

FBI Using Warrantless GPS To Track US Citizens

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Mind if we track you?

Local activists may want to check under their car:  Big Brother
may be following you.

GPS vehicle trackers, based on technology first used by the
military for navigation, have become a popular law-enforcement
tool for tracking people.

gps stalker2Cruder than other forms of surveillance, they report only where a suspect’s car goes and are frequently used for supplementary surveillance.  That’s because in most jurisdictions, investigators don’t need court approval or a warrant to slap a tracking device on a driver’s car.

They’re also very effective.  The devices provide a stealthier and more cost-effective approach to surveillance than a team of cops trailing a suspect around the clock.  They have become one of the top choices for surveillance by government agencies like the FBI to use.

Wired magazine’s Kim Zetter reported:

The use of GPS tracking devices is poised to become one of the most contentious privacy issues before the Supreme Court, if it agrees to hear an appeal filed by the Obama administration last month.  The administration is seeking to overturn a ruling by a lower court that law enforcement officials must obtain a warrant before using a tracker.

The constitutional matter until now has been left to district courts around the country to decide, resulting in a patchwork of conflicting rulings.

The tracking devices have become one of the most divisive Fourth Amendment issues facing courts around the country.  The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled last year that using a GPS tracker was no different than physically trailing a suspect in public, and that such surveillance was not protected by the Fourth Amendment, even if agents placed the device on a suspect’s car while it was parked in his driveway.

But Judge Alex Kosinski, in the dissenting opinion, called the use of GPS trackers without a court order “straight out of George Orwell’s novel 1984” and said they give government “the power to track the movements of every one of us, every day of our lives.”

Just ask Kathy Thomas.  She found one of the tracking devices
underneath her car, placed there by the FBI.

gps stalkerThomas, an environmental activist, doesn’t know if the FBI obtained a warrant to place the tracker on her car.  But she said authorities never charged her with any crime.  They did ask for their tracker back, though.  She refused.

Her FBI file, which she obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, makes it clear the surveillance was part of a nationwide investigation of activists connected to Earth First!, the Earth Liberation Front, and the Animal Liberation Front — groups the FBI considered “left-wing anarchists” and whose members sometimes advocated criminal activity to further their aims.

Thomas says she organized activities with Earth First! and participated in animal rights activities, but she never belonged to the two other groups.  Instead, she was a member of Food Not Bombs.

In other words:  Warrant?  We don’t need no stinkin’ warrant.

 

You can read the whole story at Wired magazine.

warrant mail

Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Academia's abuse of adjunct professors
    Salon - Over three quarters of college professors are adjunct. Legally, adjunct positions are part-time, at-will employment. Universities pay adjunct professors by the course, anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000. So if a professor teaches three courses in both the fall and spring semesters at a rate of $3000 per course, they’ll make $18,000 dollars. The averag […]
  • Snowden: NSA routinely passed communications of Palestinian-Americans to Israel
    Daily Mail, UK - Former U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden has accused the U.S. National Security Agency of routinely passing private, unedited communications of Americans to Israel, an expert on the intelligence agency said Wednesday.James Bamford, writing in the New York Times, said Snowden told him the intercepts included communications of Arab- and […]
  • What the Christian right forgets about the Bible
    From 50 years of the our overstocked archives. This was written during the Reagan yearsSam Smith - Our text for today is found in the eighth chapter of 1 Samuel. When Samuel got old he appointed his sons as judges over Israel. As so often occurs with nepotism this didn't work out: the offspring taking dishonest gain and bribes and perverting justice. So […]
  • What's happening
    Men for ChoiceSpend a weekend with Ralph Nader Chad becomes 37th African state to seek ban on homosexualityFewer than four in 10 Americans can identify which political party controls the Senate and which controls the House, according to a Gallup poll   Moral Mondays spread to IndianaAnd AlabamaAction news How to plan your own Moral Monday Building peace team […]
  • Department of Good Stuff: Politicians
    Bernie Sanders Jill Stein Elizabeth Warren Sherrod Brown John Conyers Al Franken Sheldon Whitehouse Ron Wyden […]
  • Another way the Fed could have handled the recession
    Fiscal Times - The Federal Reserve has been conducting a grand experiment since the U.S. economy tumbled into the Great Recession. After the housing market collapsed in 2008, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to rock bottom levels in hopes of boosting borrowing and spending. It also went a step further, buying trillions of dollars in Treasury bonds […]
  • Great moments in book publishing
    Futility Closet - Shortly after his travel book Alexandria appeared in December 1922, E.M. Forster received a regretful letter from the publisher, Whitehead Morris & Co. There had been a fire in the warehouse and the entire edition had been burned. Fortunately, it had been insured, and they enclosed a substantial check in compensation.“A few weeks later […]
  • More evidence school test tyrants are hurting our kids
    NPR - When it comes to brain development, time in the classroom may be less important than time on the playground."The experience of play changes the connections of the neurons at the front end of your brain," says Sergio Pellis, a researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. "And without play experience, those neurons aren […]
  • Great moments in grafitti
    Artfido - Street artist DS recently added a couple of paste-ups to a wall in London. It didn’t take too long before a graffiti removal guy removed the paste-ups.  Shortly after that, DS was back with a paste up of the graffiti removal guy removing the graffiti. Art imitates removal of art! […]
  • How imprisonment in US has soared
     Sentencing Project […]
  • Anti-union corporate staff meetings recorded
    One example from a Popular Resistance story:These Staples meetings were held at one of the company’s distribution centers in Atlanta. As is common in such meetings, one of the managers leading it starts by noting that anyone in the room is free to unionize.“The choice on whether to have a union or not is yours,” he says.And yet he paints unionization as an a […]
  • Why basic income should be a key issue
    Vox 1) What is basic income?"Basic income" is shorthand for a range of proposals that share the idea of giving everyone in a given polity a certain amount of money on a regular basis. A basic income comes with no categorical eligibility requirements; you don't have to be blind or disabled or unemployed to get it. Everyone gets the same amount […]
  • Pocket paradigm
    Lying often has little to do with court-defined perjury. It more typically involves hyperbolic hoodwinking, unsubstantiated analogy, cynical incitement of fear, deceitful distortion, slippery untruths, gossamer falsehoods, disingenuous anecdote, artful agitprop, and the relentless repetition of all the foregoing in an atmosphere in which facts are trampled u […]
  • License plate locations being scanned by the millions across the U.S.
    Associated Press […]
  • Tom Hayden making his archives public, including 22,000 pages of FBI files
    Aljazeera America - The man regarded as the intellectual father of the 1960s is opening up his archives in what historians of modern America regard as one of the most important document dumps in recent times, and one that breaks a tradition in which monumental public figures wait until they are dead to show the world the personal papers, diaries and mementos […]