×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Two New Fed GPS Trackers Found On SUV

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the take-two-they're-small dept.

Government 761

jcombel writes with this excerpt: "As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear oral arguments in a case Tuesday that could determine if authorities can track U.S. citizens with GPS vehicle trackers without a warrant, a young man in California has come forward to Wired to reveal that he found not one but two different devices on his vehicle recently. The 25-year-old resident of San Jose, California, says he found the first one about three weeks ago on his Volvo SUV while visiting his mother in Modesto, about 80 miles northeast of San Jose. After contacting Wired and allowing a photographer to snap pictures of the device, it was swapped out and replaced with a second tracking device. A witness also reported seeing a strange man looking beneath the vehicle of the young man’s girlfriend while her car was parked at work, suggesting that a tracking device may have been retrieved from her car. Then things got really weird when police showed up during a Wired interview with the man."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

761 comments

Uhh.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989538)

Say that again?

Welcome to the world of police intimidation (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989544)

When this reporter drove down to meet Greg and photograph the second tracker with photographer Snyder, three police cars appeared at the location that had been pre-arranged with Greg, at various points driving directly behind me without making any verbal contact before leaving.

After moving the photo shoot to a Rotten Robbie gas station a mile away from the first location, another police car showed up. In this case, the officer entered the station smiling at me and turned his car around to face the direction of Greg’s car, a couple hundred yards away. He remained there while the device was photographed. A passenger in the police car, dressed in civilian clothes, stepped out of the vehicle to fill a gas container, then the two left shortly before the photo shoot was completed.

I bet that reporter thought that sort of thing only happened in *other* countries before that day.

Re:Welcome to the world of police intimidation (3, Insightful)

Spykk (823586) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989676)

What sort of thing? Cops driving around? What part of those two paragraphs is supposed to be so sinister?

Re:Welcome to the world of police intimidation (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989708)

If you don't get that the point of this was to intimidate the reporter and discourage him from pursuing the story, you're either incredibly naive or you're being deliberately dense.

Re:Welcome to the world of police intimidation (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989758)

either or? They aren't necessarily mutually exclusive! /pedtant

Re:Welcome to the world of police intimidation (3, Interesting)

Spykk (823586) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989868)

I think you are mistaken. The only thing that police could accomplish by intentionally trying to intimidate a reporter without being explicit enough to threaten him is to make the story that much jucier. Do you really believe that the officer brought a gas can and someone in civilian clothes along to go intimidate a reporter? He was likely giving someone who had run out of gas a ride and the reporter chose to interperet the encounter as some sort of nebulous conspiracy to get some publicity for the story.

Re:Welcome to the world of police intimidation (0)

Vokkyt (739289) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989924)

I'm as paranoid as the next guy, but be reasonable. Is it probable that the officer was there for a reason? Yes. But you really can't derive any satisfactory conclusion, or even a probable guess as to that officer's intentions or what they meant to convey with their appearance.

You wish you were this guy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989560)

What does a citizen have to do to get this kind of personalized attention from the government? Most of the time they just ignore you unless it's time for them to steal money from your wallet.

Re:You wish you were this guy (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989652)

>What does a citizen have to do to get this kind of personalized attention from the government?

Nothing.

--
BMO

Re:You wish you were this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989858)

Appear middle eastern. Or Mexican, Or Indian. Hell anything. I'm your average white american and this crap leaves me feeling really greasy. Not to mention I used to drive truck years ago, and we were always passed by border patrol cuz we were white. You wanna know why they hate us? Well this is a big part of it. What part of great big melting pot do you believe? Yeah we're melting only the finest in white chocolate.

Re:You wish you were this guy (0)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37990018)

Appear middle eastern. Or Mexican, Or Indian. Hell anything. .

Right, that must be why there are tracking devices on the cars of all the illegal aliens that live around here.

Seriously, if you believe the guy in this story gained the attention of several police officers and two tracking devices
because his skin was brown and he had a beard you are hopelessly naive.

The guy was running drugs or guns or money to garner that much attention.

Re:You wish you were this guy (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989952)

What does a citizen have to do to get this kind of personalized attention from the government?

Be involved in a crime.

His cousin is a fugitive in Mexico, where the owner has been to recently in the SUV. The DEA obviously considers him a suspect or a person of interest that will lead them to the cousin.

Re:You wish you were this guy (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989990)

If he wants the cops to disappear, he should just dial 911 in a shitty neighborhood.

Re:You wish you were this guy (4, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37990016)

> What does a citizen have to do to get this kind of personalized attention from the government?

In this guy's case? Buy the SUV of your drug dealer cousin who fled the country and then visit Tijuana

Re:You wish you were this guy (4, Insightful)

canadian_right (410687) | more than 2 years ago | (#37990070)

He may have a drug dealing cousin, but the police should need a warrant for this type of intrusive tracking.

Papers please.

Police Ssurveillance (4, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989578)

A serious question, one that I hope folks take seriously because I truly cannot answer this:

If you were in front of the US Supreme Court and they asked you how this is fundamentally different than tracking your car through traditional police surveillance, how would you answer?

I struggle for an answer myself. It feels wrong, but as far as I can tell that isn't a valid legal argument.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989606)

The only difference is they're defacing your property. Otherwise yeah, they could just follow you around and there's nothing you can do about it.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (3, Interesting)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989782)

I found one of these devices in a used car I purchased. The only reason I found it was because of some electrical issues I was having. Upon tracing the electrical issue I found the device (poorly) wired into the electrical system causing an intermittent short. After removing the device, and fixing the wiring harness - I showed it to my family who admitted that maybe my paranoia had some validity.

I've still got the device. I use it to win arguments against people who say the government doesn't do these sorts of things. Now that this is in the news, I guess I won't be having those arguments anymore.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989958)

Yet inside your pocket, you've got a cell phone, which is currently tracking you wherever you go. The other device was a backup. Think about it.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37990014)

The government isn't the only one who uses these devices. Jealous spouses, private investigators, stalkers, etc. These devices are available on the civilian market. Your tracking device could have been installed by anyone.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (4, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989854)

Isn't there a limit where it becomes harassment? It's one thing if they have enough evidence to get a warrant - it's another if they are fishing blindly.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989638)

Maybe another question is: can police conduct surveillance of any kind without a warrant? I am ignorant on this, and would appreciate some definitive answers...

Re:Police Ssurveillance (4, Interesting)

berashith (222128) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989772)

I had been under the impression that there were rules limiting this once, until I was under investigation. The rub was this ... I wasnt really under investigation. If I was, then there would have been a warrant. There was not enough information to get a warrant on me, so the ATF was digging around watching every move I made, trying to figure out what the hell I was up to. The funny bit here is that I was up to nothing, and had to keep proving it.

I thought that the agent couldnt just sit and watch my house all the time, and he kind of confirmed that, but if I had gone to a movie, he would miraculously appear at my door as I was walking down the sidewalk. This was consistent, and it was obvious what he was doing, but if I questioned him he would give me a line about just happening to show up at the same time. This came complete with a smart ass smirk. So , I never was certain what the rules were, but I knew that I couldnt really get away from the game. The fact of the matter is ( at that time, way pre-9/11) , if the government has a reason to be suspicious they will be. You will have to prove yourself. The way I saw it then is that the system worked, even if it was a bit one sided and crooked.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989794)

as long as you have no reasonable expectation to privacy, they can observe you. Thus, walking down the street, or having a loud conversation in a public space would be fair game.

the fun part will be to see which way this goes. (I am not a lawyer or a constitutional scholar, BUT) If it is ruled that a warrant is not necessary, the courts would be implying that it's AOK for you to plant tracking devices on whomever you like. Spouse, boss, subordinate, cop, judge, senator. After all, the people cannot grant a power to the government that they do not themselves have. If a cop doesn't need a warrant to do it, neither do you.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989658)

I guess I would use "Arson" as my excuse.
I mean, they are gluing something on my car, possibly causing damage in the process, and possibly damaing the vehicle by placing it there, and even possibly making me damage my car by letting it be there.
Secondly: Claim its wiretapping, since the law has not yet been strucked down.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989818)

I'm not even a judge, and I know these things would use magnets and clamps, not glue. Overruled.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989866)

How do you know that if there is no standard, and nobody has to approve that?

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37990054)

Because glue is fucking stupid - people need to be able to come up and discretely take these things off and put them on. They're not using glue. Did you watch Breaking Bad? ;)

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989660)

The difference is they attach something to your property. They also don't have the restriction of manpower.

If we take your argument at face value, why not install these devices on all cars during the inspection? or when sold?

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989770)

They also don't have the restriction of manpower.

There's no law requiring the executive branch to be inefficient.

If we take your argument at face value, why not install these devices on all cars during the inspection?

That's not the argument. The question he is posing is how tracking this single individual by GPS is any less legitimate than tracking him with an officer in an unmarked car.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989926)

There should be such a law. You show me an efficient government and I will show you an oppressive one.

I was just following that logic to its inevitable conclusion.

A better answer would be the police could not follow him across state lines, nor onto private property. This device might. This device also is consuming the victims fuel to be transported and may be wired into his car risking damage to the electrical system.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (4, Insightful)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989666)

24/7 Surveillance on both public and private property perhaps? Traditional surveillance has limits of where and when they can monitor you. A GPS on the other hand is monitoring you 24/7 regardless of district, private/public property etc...

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989668)

* With GPS devices, the accused is forced to pay for his own surveillance (the extra gas to move the GPS device around town), not the police.
* Traditional police surveillance requires the police to invest effort and money into the surveillance, so they can only follow probable leads. With GPS surveillance, they are not forced to constrain their surveillance to the scope of the case, and can track hundreds or thousands of people (with minimal or no connection to the crime) without expending any extra effort.
* Traditional police surveillance is bound by their jurisdictional authority, while GPS surveillance allows the person tagged to be tracked world-wide.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

loshwomp (468955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989722)

With GPS devices, the accused is forced to pay for his own surveillance (the extra gas to move the GPS device around town)

(Emphasis mine.)

I'm pretty sympathetic to "the accused" in these cases, but I sure hope you don't expect to prevail based on the above premise.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989934)

but I sure hope you don't expect to prevail based on the above premise.

of course not.

since, you need to account for the weight and wind resistance of the wiring, too.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37990006)

Why not?
Is it legal for me to steal a very small amount of gas from your car?

If the police don't need a warrant, why can't I take a thimble full of gas from your car?

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989680)

Try harder. Its cheap and therefore more universal, that's what makes it fundamentally different.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989978)

"Easier" and "more universal" does NOT constitute "fundamentally different". No judge would buy that argument either. Technology makes things easier, that doesn't mean you make those things harder to do. Overruled.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989682)

If you were in front of the US Supreme Court and they asked you how this is fundamentally different than tracking your car through traditional police surveillance, how would you answer?

In the same way that listening to a conversation by bugging a person is considered different from listening in on their conversation from a nearby table in a restaurant. One involves the compromise of someone's personal property and effects (protected by the 4th amendment) and the other doesn't.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

ALeavitt (636946) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989698)

This doesn't require an officer or a police car - it is a cheap piece of equipment that can be produced and purchased in large quantities. The only limit to the ability of the police to surveil the citizenry would be limited only by the procurement budget, and would be far less limited than it is today. Further, these devices are easily concealed, whereas a police car, even an unmarked one, is far harder to hide. Essentially these devices give the police nigh-infinite, limitless, covert surveillance capabilities.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37990060)

This is the most important point.

Society has a lot of 'memes' regarding what's acceptable surveillance and not. For example, a policeman can follow you around and observe anything you do in public, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy. Many of these are softer or harder laws.

Unfortunately these memes were formed in a certain physical context. That context may change. The memes may become ill fitting.

For example, in the old physical context an undercover police car could follow you as you walk. That would, as you say, be at a meaningful expense, meaning that it would only be done where a suitable reason (not always defined, may be based on police gut feel) is felt. There's some real people who will be asked "did you see anything suspicious?" and if the answer is "no" the person who asks will consider stopping the surveillance.

How could that physical context change? Well, now that mini-copters are improving you could have "eye-bots" floating around and tracking everyone by face. That's just the same thing according to the meme of "no reasonable expectation of privacy in public", but people would really _feel_ a difference.

That's why there needs to be a regular discussion about whether laws should be changed to keep a similar state of affairs as before, or whether you should keep the laws the same and change society that way. Unfortunately the process of formulating an answer to those things is Really Hard.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989702)

Simple.

The GPS device on your car follows you into places that the police are not permitted to go when you are under surveillance. There are rules about police entering private property, like a gated community or following you up a long, rural driveway, without a reasonable cause. A GPS device follows no such guidelines.

For me, it's plain and simple. The police cannot search your car without consent or a warrant, but they can look at what is visible in 'plain sight.' Same rule applies here. You can put a GPS device on my car, but it has to be placed somewhere in 'plain sight'. Cops aren't allowed to rummage around in my car's undercarriage without my permission or consent, whether it be to search for drugs or to place a GPS device.

And of course, once I've seen the GPS tracking device in plain sight, I have the right to remove it same as I have the right to remove anything else from my car.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

sckienle (588934) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989704)

Also, traditional surveillance can be seen, with care, and cannot follow you onto private property. GPS trackers do not have those limitations. May not be a big difference, but one non-the-less.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989730)

Following that same logic, since we're legally allowed to follow police cars (admittedly something stupid to do since they have many more ways to harass you than you do to harass them), then how is it fundamentally different to place GPS tracking devices on their police cars?

Re:Police Ssurveillance (2)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989756)

If you were in front of the US Supreme Court and they asked you how this is fundamentally different than tracking your car through traditional police surveillance, how would you answer?

A couple points I could make:

  • This is something that I am being held responsible for against my will (note how they tend to be very aggressive in retrieving these devices). It would be considered improper to force someone to document their whereabouts 24/7, and this does the same thing by automated means.
  • Further to this, it's modifying my property without my consent - if it's illegal for me to attach one of these to another vehicle, it should also be illegal for the police to do so without a warrant.
  • Traditional police surveillance cannot follow you onto private property, whereas GPS tracking can.
  • GPS tracking is, in the end, a technological device, which can (and will) be defeated, spoofed, or just plain destroyed - it can't and shouldn't be considered as reliable a substitute for eyeball tracking. It's a safe bet that once it's widely known that these devices exist (and how to identify them) people will crack the case and either start sending false data back (or just reattach it to a Greyhound and leave it at that).

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

McKing (1017) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989930)

I doubt anyone really wants to deprive law enforcement of any tools used to truly catch criminals, but we want to make sure the there is judicial oversight involved. If you don't have enough probable cause to get a warrant, then all you are doing is fishing. Once you invest the human time and effort into obtaining probable cause and a warrant, then use GPS to your heart's content!

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989766)

A serious question, one that I hope folks take seriously because I truly cannot answer this:

If you were in front of the US Supreme Court and they asked you how this is fundamentally different than tracking your car through traditional police surveillance, how would you answer?

I struggle for an answer myself. It feels wrong, but as far as I can tell that isn't a valid legal argument.

Depends on whether you believe the U.S. Constitution is the supreme, un-supercede-able law of the land, or if you're one of those scared-of-your-own-shadow types who thinks that taking away our freedoms for the illusion of security is acceptable.

Obviously, I happen to be of the former mentality, and according to the 4th Amendment, I have a right to be "secure in [my] person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures," which "shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989804)

because it would allow police to track people beyond the existing limits of their surveillance across the lines drawn in the sand by warrants. say, for instance, i'm driving toward a large private estate. police can tail me there, but once on the property they could not follow without a warrant. however if they slipped a gps tracker on me, they could see where on the estate i drove to, as if they had accompanied me somewhere they would otherwise need a warrant to go. i haven't spent enough time thinking of more imaginative scenarios.

Could a cop hide in the boot too? (4, Interesting)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989908)

Would it be ok if a cop hid in the boot of your car without a warrant instead?

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989944)

The police are actively handling your property. It's like if they installed a gps tracker on your shoes, or your shirt, or maybe they walk up to your kid at school and attach a device to their bookbag. They don't have a right to do that. Just like they don't have a right to attach a traditional surveillance camera to your house to watch your neighbors. If they wanted to follow your car that's one thing as they'd just be driving legally on public roads. The fact is that they're attaching a device to your property without your consent or without a warrant, they don't have a legal right to do that.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

Mephistophocles (930357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989954)

One is obvious, the other isn't. If I, as a law-abiding citizen, notice the cops following me around, I'm probably going to find out why (honestly and non-confrontationally if possible). A tracking device is hidden, and therefore is being used without my knowledge.

IMHO, both are invasive and should be non-permissible without warrants; both violate the 4th amendment. As if the Constitution means anything anymore.

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

stating_the_obvious (1340413) | more than 2 years ago | (#37990024)

The GPS tracker is not constrained by traditional boundaries of privacy -- like the locked front gate of a long driveway. The cop trailing the car is free to observe public actions, while the GPS makes no distinctions of public and private activities. There may not be a lot of private locations where the GPS affixed to a vehicle is "crossing the line", but we're not that far away from a tracking device small enough to be embedded in your clothing without your knowledge...

Re:Police Ssurveillance (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37990034)

There are a few differences

1: this is MUCH cheaper than having someone tail a vehicle, that makes it much more prone to abuse.
2: this device will follow the car everywhere it goes even on private land
3: fitting the device means that the cop is tampering with your property.

Americans fear their government (4, Interesting)

bazmail (764941) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989604)

Americans fear their government more now than at any time in history. Kind of funny if your from foreignland.

Re:Americans fear their government (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989726)

Americans fear their government more now than at any time in history. Kind of funny if your from foreignland.

Well, the american government fucked over entire nations in the course of the last 50 years, it is poetic justice that in the last years they have turned their attention to fucking over their own citizens instead.
Whats good for the goose is good for the gander no ?

MOD Parent UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37990044)

MOD UP!

Re:Americans fear their government (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989738)

Americans fear their government more now than at any time in history.

I don't know about that. We certainly do fear our government a lot now, but more than at any time in history?

When the Constitution was being written, the authors were extremely worried about overreaching government.
During Prohibition, alcohol was still commonly used, but there was the fear of the government finding out.
During the Communism scare, many lives were ruined just because politicians would claim that you were a Communist.
The CIA, FBI and NSA have been known to violate people's rights for decades now.

As I see it, there is certainly a lot of fear and concern now. But there was a lot in the past too. I guess I'm not old enough to go back far enough in the past (and unfortunately, only somebody who was 250 years old could really give an authoritative answer to this.)

Re:Americans fear their government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989788)

So long as they realize their apathy to their own government's dealings so long as they can watch Survivor is what caused it to get to this point, Good. Let them fear.

Maybe they'll sit up and try to do something a 100 years from now. I don't expect to see the majority to change any time soon. They'll still be saying "GOOD. MAYBE THIS TIME PEOPLE WILL STEP UP AND REVOLT!!!" with every baby step taken to remove their illusion of freedom.

Re:Americans fear their government (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989872)

Americans fear their government and so work to protect themselves accordingly. Americans become the next government, which now believes that a paranoid, armed citizenry fears them, and so work to protect themselves accordingly. Americans discover these new protections, with the result that they fear their government even more.

Does the term "vicious cycle" mean anything to you guys? Or, since we're geeks, "positive feedback loop"?

When both sides of a debate fear each other and, in their efforts to protect themselves, cause the other side to fear them even more, neither side has a hope in hell of ever winning. Right now, total trust wouldn't be the brightest idea either (and would have to come from both sides at the same time) and I have no clue how to fix this bug, but both sides are guaranteed to lose if they keep going like this.

Re:Americans fear their government (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37990072)

The problem with your argument is simply that the government side has demonstrated that it will abuse any power it gets. The solution is niether the "vicious cycle" nor the embracing of gullibility, but merely reducing the power of government.

Re:Americans fear their government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989948)

I don't think you have read much about Governer Bogg and the Mormons.

No problem (4, Interesting)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989692)

If you find a device like this on your car, have fun with it. Ship it across country - the government will know where the UPS guy is. Smash it open to see what is inside. Sell it on eBay. Report it to your local Sheriff as a suspicious device.

Seriously though...
Having cops follow you around to make their presence known is one hell of a way to use a covert surveillance device. The story isn't quite adding up.

As a foreigner... (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989714)

As a "foreigner" who emigrated to this country and likes to make a lot of jokes that could be taken out of context- I am almost positive that I must have been spied on- if not more than for a short period of time to realise how boring I am.

this is why we have a second amendment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989718)

"Sir, step away from my vehicle and do not make any sudden moves."

Please note all voters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989720)

The Obama administration is arguing in front of the Supreme Court IN FAVOR of warrantless GPS tracking and searches like this.

Change you can believe in.

Simple solution to dealign with these trackers (3, Interesting)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989724)

1) Find a place where trains pass somewhat slowly
2) Wait for slow moving train
3) Stick tracker on outside of train car

Re:Simple solution to dealign with these trackers (3, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989960)

4) Get ticketed for destruction of US Government property.

Re:Simple solution to dealign with these trackers (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989976)

or you could just pick a seedly company online from columbia/nigera and fedex it to them..

at first they are going to wonder how you have a flying car - then they are going to wonder where your sending it - then why you picked it..

Re:Simple solution to dealign with these trackers (1)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37990084)

4) Get arrested for tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice and destruction of property 5) ??? 6) Sue and get a large judgment in your favor! (I believe step 5 in this case is that you must have enough money to hire a good lawyer.)

Free country lolol (1)

Voogru (2503382) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989734)

For liberty and justice for all. *Must be 18, void where prohibited, some restrictions may apply, not available in all states.

RTA (2)

KyoMamoru (985449) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989774)

In the article, it's stated that he bought the vehicle with cash from his wanted, drug dealing cousin. He even went as far to drive his cousin's wife to Mexico in the vehicle afterwards. It's no wonder that he was under surveillance.

Re:RTA (5, Insightful)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989834)

The question here isn't whether the police ought to investigate criminal behavior, but whether they can use these tactics without a warrant. Big difference. If this guy really is so damn shady, they should have no trouble at all getting a warrant. If there's not even enough suspicion to get a warrant, he certainly deserves to be left alone.

Use the Bus, Taxi or Train (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989802)

Here's the gigantic problem with the GPS trackers...

If you're being tracked, you just stop driving. Also, turn off your mobile phone before leaving. While the GPS tracker in the car lasts 7-15 days, your mobile phone lasts maybe 3. What you do is "go camping" for like a month, go visit grandma, or something, and while you're out, pitch the tracker down a manhole. They'll can't claim vandalism to their GPS tracker if it's not supposed to exist right?

If someone was really a security risk, they wouldn't own a car to begin with. It seems this is reaching for low-hanging fruit, busting drug users and not the traffickers or producers, etc.

British Empire (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989812)

And to think, had the limey fog-breathers thought of this 260 years ago, there would be no United States!

Apparently, oppressive oligarchies are cyclical.

Re:British Empire (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989998)

Those Revolutionary-War era GPS systems were just too bulky to properly hide on the horse drawn carriages of the day. It never would have worked.

If it was me (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989816)

I'd just smash it up and toss it.

If they send you a bill, send one back charging them more than their bill.

Re:If it was me (2)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989906)

Now you're a criminal for destroying government property and interfering with an investigation. Your life is ruined.

Re:If it was me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37990028)

That's assuming that anyone can prove that the car's owner smashed it. If the GPS unit gets smashed in a parking lot and then gets thrown in a dumpster, who's to say that it didn't get dislodged from the car and then run over?

Re:If it was me (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37990004)

I'd just smash it up and toss it.

If they send you a bill, send one back charging them more than their bill.

Better idea: Stick it on a local judge's car.

Tracking Politicians (1)

dorkinson (1615103) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989822)

The administration, which is attempting to overturn a lower court ruling that threw out a drug dealer’s conviction over the warrantless use of a tracker, argues that citizens have no expectation of privacy when it comes to their movements in public so officers don’t need to get a warrant to use such devices.

Good, I've always wondered where politicians go, what hotels they stay at, etc.

People, people, people .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989832)

Do you really think we live in a free country? Pffft!

Greg’s surveillance appears to involve different circumstances. It most likely involves a criminal drug investigation centered around his cousin, a Mexican citizen who fled across the border to that country a year ago and may have been involved in the drug trade as a dealer.

If you're going to be a criminal, don't waste your time on chump change bullshit like drugs, child porn, gambling, ...you know guido shit.

The catch is getting into the crime sindicates.

Ok... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37989860)

I find one of these on my vehicle, it's getting cut open and destroyed.

What are they going to do about it?

Are there any GPS scanners? (4, Interesting)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37989966)

Are there any scanning devices to scan your car to see if you have one of these hidden somewhere?

I'm sure you can do a thorough search from time to time- but if I want to know if I have one- is there a device I can buy to scan my car that isn't expensive?

I suspect all the bad guys who are really trying to hide will just run GPS blockers on their cars.

So if Driving Citizens (4, Insightful)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 2 years ago | (#37990012)

have no expectation of privacy and can be tracked at will by the police, do police therefore have no expectation of privacy and can be tracked at will by citizens? Sounds like a great argument. Think I'll run out, buy a bunch of these trackers, and stick them to the undercarriages of cop cars and then set up a web site that reports the position of every cop car in the city at all times in case you, um, need to call the cops.

Either that must be the case, or cops must get a warrant to do this.

If neither is the case, then the only option left to Americans is to fire every single person in every level of government with extreme prejudice, convene a constitutional convention, and start all over again from scratch.

Relocate The Tracker : +5, Ingenious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37990064)

to one of your local university football coaching team cars.

That should get a few laughs from the fans.

Yours In State College,
Kilgore Trout.

P.S.: Ron "I was abducted by Federal Reserve Employees" Paul For President !!!!.

RTFA: not random surveillance by the government (1)

dthx1138 (833363) | more than 2 years ago | (#37990068)

I'm undecided on whether federal agencies should need a warrant to use a tracking device on your car, but if the person of interest here, "Greg," is trying to insinuate that the government is tracking citizens at random big-brother style, that is wildly inaccurate.

Read the full article: by his own admission, his cousin is involved in a Mexican drug cartel, and was the previous owner of the SUV. His cousin recently fled to Mexico, after which "Greg" drove his cousin's wife to Tijuana and stayed there for a few days.

He noticed the tracking device after these events. He's clearly being investigated as part of the DEA's attempt to nail his cousin. Even if a warrant were required to track him, it seems likely a judge would have granted it here.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...