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

  • Furthermore. . .
    Vox - Google is escalating its fight with conventional broadband internet providers, announcing plans this week to expand its super-fast internet service to four new metropolitan areas in the American South. The Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, and Raleigh-Durham metro areas will soon join Kansas City, Austin, and Provo, Utah, in Google's high-speed inter […]
  • Dartmouth to enforce on campus hard liquor prohibition
    Gawker - In a speech at Dartmouth's campus , the college's president, Philip J. Hanlon, announced that there will be a campus-wide ban on hard liquor from March 30 onward. The New York Times reports that this decision is in response to a "spate of student misbehavior that has tarnished the reputation" of the school.Hanlon's speech re […]
  • Muslim murder rate lower than non-Muslim worrld
    M.Stanley Fish, Washington Post -  Predominantly, Muslim countries average 2.4 murders per annum per 100,000 people, compared to 7.5 in non-Muslim countries. The percentage of the society that is made up of Muslims is an extraordinarily good predictor of a country's murder rate. More authoritarianism in Muslim countries does not account for the differen […]
  • Morning Line
    With Romney out, Bush leads narrowly in our three poll moving average over Carson and Huckbee. They are the only Republicans in double digits. Huckabee leads in southern states such as AK, MD, NC, SC. Rand Paul leads in CO. Christie leads in NJ, NY. Walker leads in WI […]
  • Some media avoid propaganda words like 'terrorist" and "extremist"
    T. Becket Adams, Washington Examiner -  Al Jazeera English isn’t the only news group to avoid certain key words and phrases, including "terrorist" and "militants," when it reports on terrorist events — the Qatar-based news agency is joined by the likes of Reuters, the BBC and the Associated Press.“There is no BBC ban on the word ‘terroris […]
  • Americans support climate change action
    Washington Examiner - 78 percent of Americans backed federal action to limit emissions from businesses, including 60 percent of Republicans […]
  • Well, there go the laughs
    NY Times - Mitt Romney said Friday that he would not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016.Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, shared his decision on a conference call with a small group of advisers.In a second call to a larger group of supporters, Mr. Romney said, “After putting considerable thought into making another run for pres […]
  • Government privacy boad tells Obama to stop NSA mass spying
    Guardian - The US government’s privacy board is calling out President Barack Obama for continuing to collect Americans’ phone data in bulk, a year after it urged an end to the controversial National Security Agency program.The Obama administration could cease the mass acquisition of US phone records “at any time”, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Bo […]
  • A different cop story
    Al Kamen and Colby Itkowitz, Washington Post- There’s one issue, perhaps the only one, that Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on: reducing the population of the nation’s crowded and expensive prisons, partly through reducing sentences for low-level and nonviolent offenders. One person who would be expected to be at the table for high-level strategizing […]
  • Economy links
    NEWS The real economy Corporate America Housing & foreclosures Labor news Social Security Trans Pacific Partnership Wall Street news ESSAYS Some ways to occupy our future...and our economy Born again economics Short history of the economic American True cost of Reagan and extreme capitalism The other way to deal with the national debt The savings & l […]
  • Word
    Music washes away the dust of every day life - Art Blakey […]
  • The 9 Senate Democrats who voted for the Keystone pipeline
    National Journal1. Michael Bennet, Colo.2. Thomas Carper, Del.3. Robert Casey, Pa.4. Joe Donnelly, Ind.5. Heidi Heitkamp, N.D.6. Joe Manchin, W. Va.7. Claire McCaskill, Mo.8. Jon Tester, Mont.9. Mark Warner, Va. […]
  • NYPD to treat protestors like terrorists
    Vox - New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton unveiled a new militarized police unit that will be trained and armed with heavy protective gear, long rifles, and machine guns to restrain terrorists and social justice protesters.Bratton explained the purpose of the unit, which will consist of 350 officers, to CBS New York:It is designed for dealing with even […]
  • About Michelle Obama's lack of headscarve in Saudi Arabia
    VoxAmerican officials in Saudi Arabia typically do not wear headscarves, including at formal government functions. Michelle was following normal protocol.Former first ladies Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton did not wear headscarves on similar official visits to Saudi Arabia. Neither did former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.Saudi Arabia is officially ultr […]
  • And now some true words about the war on terror from a former FBI official
    If you’re submitting budget proposals for a law enforcement agency, for an intelligence agency, you’re not going to submit the proposal that ‘We won the war on terror and everything’s great,’ cuz the first thing that’s gonna happen is your budget’s gonna be cut in half. You know, it’s my opposite of Jesse Jackson’s ‘Keep Hope Alive’—it’s ‘Keep Fear Alive.’ K […]