What the??!!

2010 October 8

Read the whole article here. The nut of it being that the FBI was tracking a US citizen of middle eastern descent. Had the student done something that tripped the FBI’s hammer? Who knows. But that is not the part of the article that I wish to focus on —

A reader quickly identified it as an Orion Guardian ST820 tracking device made by an electronics company called Cobham, which sells the device only to law enforcement.

No one was available at Cobham to answer Wired.com’s questions, but a former FBI agent who looked at the pictures confirmed it was a tracking device.

The former agent, who asked not to be named, said the device was an older model of tracking equipment that had long ago been replaced by devices that don’t require batteries. Batteries die and need to be replaced if surveillance is ongoing so newer devices are placed in the engine compartment and hardwired to the car’s battery so they don’t run out of juice. He was surprised this one was so easily found.

“It has to be able to be removed but also stay in place and not be seen,” he said. “There’s always the possibility that the car will end up at a body shop or auto mechanic, so it has to be hidden well. It’s very rare when the guys find them.”

A recent court case has ruled that a car parked in your own driveway is still considered ‘public space’ and a warrant would not be needed by the authorities. (re: Pineda, 2007) Personally I find that erroneous, but there it sits. Till we get a contrary ruling from another appellate circuit it won’t be touched.

But the piece I am focusing on is that in bold in the article. “…so newer devices are placed in the engine compartment and hardwired to the car’s battery…”, is to my mind, illegal search even if it is sitting in the driveway. Its presumably a locked vehicle (mine always is) for which a warrant would need to be obtained. I be damn if I would return the device if I found it in my car (Tx. Code 3093). For dramatic effect I think I would call the bomb disposal unit just to jack with all the authorities.

22 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 October 8 11:43 am
    drdog09 permalink

    1099 disaster looming and now this — http://dailycaller.com/2010/10/08/the-irs-and-the-latest-licensing-outrage/

    You may not be able to use the tax preparer of your choice. Here goes another 700k seasonal jobs.

  2. 2010 October 8 11:49 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Edwards in deep kimshee — http://hotair.com/archives/2010/10/08/grand-jury-about-to-dig-deep-into-edwards-campaign-financing/. If you be the focus of a grand jury probe its serious.

  3. 2010 October 8 11:55 am
    justrand permalink

    drdog, if I found a tracking device on my car I would leave it in place…and then spend several days driving to all kinds of stores in obscure locations buying things like:

    – Costco to buy all the lemon jello they had…and then SCREAM at the store Manager that I needed TWICE that much!!
    – HomeDepot to buy a roll of duct tape, 1 of each wattage light bulb they had, and a bag of potting soil
    – Big 5 sports to buy all the ping pong balls they had in stock…and again scream at the store manager that whatever the color they had was WRONG, but that it would have to do.
    – JoAnn’s fabrics to buy 10 yards of gingham fabric

    and a few other places buying other random shit (50 packs of Post-It notes, 4 tubes of toothpaste, etc). Then I would try to look as furtive as possible when unloading it into my garage!

    It ya can’t beat ’em…screw with ’em!

  4. 2010 October 8 12:01 pm

    How does an RFID system work? (radio frequency identification
    For RFID systems to work the following components are essential: –

    Tag (Passive, semi passive or active)
    Reader (also known as an antenna or integrator)
    Software (also known as middleware)
    Information is sent to and read from RFID tags by a reader using radio waves. In passive systems, which are the most common, an RFID reader transmits an energy field that “wakes up” the tag and provides the power for the tag to respond to the reader. In active systems, a battery in the tag is used to boost the effective operating range of the tag and to support additional features over passive tags, such as temperature sensing. Data collected from tags is then passed through communication interfaces (cable or wireless) to host computer systems in the same manner that data scanned from bar code labels is captured and passed to computer systems for interpretation, storage, and action.

  5. 2010 October 8 12:03 pm

    I would put it on a stray dog.

  6. 2010 October 8 12:13 pm
    justrand permalink

    even better, IP!! 🙂

  7. 2010 October 8 12:15 pm
    brucefdb permalink

    O/T apologies Drdog…but you have to see Charlie Crist throwing out the first pitch at the Devil Ray’s playoff game. Don’t miss it, it is at the bottom of the linked thread.


  8. 2010 October 8 12:18 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    JR, 3,

    I know its against my better judgement, but having bought all that stuff, what do you make with it? I would also add Japanese myrtle to your list. When small they have leaves that look exactly like weed.

  9. 2010 October 8 12:21 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Bruce, my wife can pitch better than that and she has never played baseball in her life. If its true Rubio has a 25pt lead, Crist might as well head for the tanning salon. He is already toast. Might as well look like it.

  10. 2010 October 8 12:24 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    IP, the passive ones have a short range, 3-6meters. They are also easily interrupted by tinfoil. (Envision parnoid lefties with their prius covered in foil. heh.) Now active ones that have a very small battery can go 30+meters. Battery lasts a long time too.

  11. 2010 October 8 12:30 pm
    justrand permalink

    drdog…in re. your question: “what do you make with it?” the answer is: EXACTLY!!! 👿

    like the old riddle:
    “what can you mow your lawn with, brush your teeth with, and wear on your head??”

    “A lawnmower, a toothbrush and a hat!”

  12. 2010 October 8 12:35 pm
    drdog09 permalink


  13. 2010 October 8 1:16 pm
    judyt2009 permalink

    #1 — looks like I am automatically exempt on two fronts and can subcontract out all the actual preparation work to all my non lawyer/ CPA accountant and bookkeeping friends who spend Jan to May buried in the seasonal tax preparation work.

    finally something out of washington that selfishly and unreasonably advantages me. ;-))

  14. 2010 October 8 1:19 pm
    RepublicanPundit permalink

    I would put it in a longdistance truck. One that goes all over the country before returning home.

  15. 2010 October 8 1:32 pm
    judyt2009 permalink

    #3 —

    I would add two cases of peanut butter, small copper tacks, about 10 feet of 1/4 inch clear plastic tubing, two reams of brightly colored paper, an ax handle or lawn mower blades, and at least two antique coffee cups, a mini-keg of beer, and one of those party balloons helium tanks to the list….

    oh…. and then I would stop and the mom and pop landscaping company miles from home, ask a lot of questions about the right fertilizer for my yard and buy a flat of winter pansies….

    I could go shopping in 7 different states(counting DC) during the course of one weekend.

    I would pay cash for each purchase, and either ask absolutely no questions, answer none and be extremely short tempered, or I would be extremely and inappropriately friendly, and tell a different “life” story at each store.

    Then after I unloaded everything into my barn I would pad lock the doors and go spend the night at a DC hotel. Order room service for two, have the shower running when the waiter showed up with with a recording playing of someone singing very offkey… to which I would time my knocking off the door and saying “honey, the food is here” to which the recorder stop singing mid verse, and respond in an embarassed accented male voice something about “thanks for the warning… I’ll be out in a couple of minutes… charge it too the room and add a $10 tip.”

    After the FBI finished the interview I would donate the peanut butter to a food bank and plant the pansies.

    The balloons, tacks, paper and plastic tubing are items needed for a party/shower game… and I need the mower blades and ax handle… and I collect coffee cups…

  16. 2010 October 8 2:10 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Judy and JR get together watch out!

  17. 2010 October 8 3:22 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    “”We are not resource limited on planet Earth. For a human on Earth to complain about resources is like a trillionaire’s child complaining about his allowance or inheritance. It just doesn’t have much credibility in my view,” he said. ”

    Resources limited, hah. Read the whole thing — http://nextbigfuture.com/2010/10/minerals-on-ocean-floor-could-provide.html

  18. 2010 October 8 3:29 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Polipundit has it — http://polipundit.com/?p=26774

    Seems official, we are in the worst recession on record. No end in sight either.

  19. 2010 October 8 6:21 pm
    Havok permalink

    If I found one of those, I would slap it on an ice cream truck. Driving slowly through neighborhoods? LOL EFF ‘EM ALL

  20. 2010 October 8 6:44 pm
    RepublicanPundit permalink

    Dr. If a Republican was in the White House, this would be known as the “Great Depression Duex”.

  21. 2010 October 8 7:37 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    no doubt RP.

  22. 2010 October 8 9:00 pm

    #1 – JHC… why am i not surprised. deconstruction continues

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