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    NPR: FBI’s GPS Tracking Raises Privacy Concerns

    NPR’s Morning Edition looked at a case of GPS tracking by the FBI:

    When Yasir Afifi took his car in for an oil change, his mechanic found an unusual wire hanging from below. It was part of a black rectangular device attached to his car by a magnet. After posting photos of it on an online forum, where posters identified it as a GPS tracking device, Afifi, a Santa Clara, Calif., college student and computer salesman, got a visit from FBI agents demanding their equipment back.

    The FBI confirms the device belongs to the agency and that agents visited Afifi to get it back. But Special Agent Joseph Schadler won’t say why it was there. […]

    The FBI sees GPS as an electronic version of physical surveillance used to gather information for an investigation. Time was, the FBI would just trail someone when they wanted to gather information. But technology has changed that. And civil rights groups consider the GPS devices more intrusive. […]

    Another Northern California man says the same thing happened to him. Abdo Alwareeth found a GPS device on his car two years ago while taking an auto maintenance class.

    At his home in San Rafael, he sifts through a binder of papers he’s gathered trying to understand why he was targeted. The U.S. citizen from Yemen says in all his 40 years living here, he’s received nothing more than a traffic ticket. […]

    Zahra Billoo, head of the Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Afifi’s attorney, says the FBI has violated her client’s privacy rights. She says Afifi has nothing in his background to suggest he’s a national security threat.

    2 Responses to “NPR: FBI’s GPS Tracking Raises Privacy Concerns”

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