Government secretly attaching GPS units to vehicles

Lately it seems that we can't go a day without learning that some device is tracking our location or that some organization is selling our private data to others. Privacy rights are decreasing, but we generally attribute this to corporations misusing our data. Now it appears that the United States federal government is getting in on the action.

According to a Wired.com report, the government has been secretly attaching GPS transmitters to the bumpers of vehicles owned by people they believe may be committing crimes. According to the article, one of the victims was constantly being followed around by law enforcement until one day it stopped. Suspicious, she checked underneath her car and found a device that was later identified to be a GPS. When her lawyer contacted the FBI, they confirmed that the device was theirs and demanded it back.

The big question is whether this type of secret spying on citizens if legal without a warrant or charges being filed. Many feel that the fourth amendment protects people from this type of search, while others say it's no different than having a law enforcement officer physically trail you. The issue is currently up in the air with some areas allowing it and some banning it. A federal judge upheld the requirement of a warrant but the Obama administration, disagreeing with the ruling, has requested that the Supreme Court make a decision on the legality of the surveillance.

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So, those of you arguing how it is no different than having them follow you around all day due to suspicion... I am going to put tracking bracelets on your legs and put tracking implants in your bodies that require surgical removal. It's no different than if they were following you around all day, right? They don't need permission to attach a device to your property. Why is attaching a device to your body any different?

That's really dumb. What if the person goes to a mechanic to get his/her car's oil changed? Then the persom can find out about it anyways...

a new black market will arise for GPS random location repeaters - attenuate and scramble the tracking GPS signal and repeat and bounce with amplified fake random locations using a myriad of such GPS - giving the "pinpoint" tracking a huge radius.

little by little United State of America once stood beacon of freedom turn into Police State Of America because PEOPLE have the mentally " u got nothing to hide u got nothing worry about" I don't care if I do or not I don't want be track period..

l33under said,
little by little United State of America once stood beacon of freedom turn into Police State Of America because PEOPLE have the mentally " u got nothing to hide u got nothing worry about" I don't care if I do or not I don't want be track period..

I agree, and when you think about it, most of us actually /do/ have something to hide; it doesn't mean anyone is doing anything wrong. Having something to hide can include working on a new product or design for your company, writing a book or keeping a diary, keeping passwords and financial info secure, being gay, going to strip clubs, AA meetings, therapy, buying a gun, what your sex life is like...anything that may be possibly controversial in the eyes of others (which is pretty much everything) are the things that we tend to want to keep private. Even when we are doing nothing wrong, privacy helps ensure our safety and well-being.

No warrant? No tracking.

a) This is news ? I've seen a few of these stories over the last several months.. This seems a little out of date..

b) I don't have an issue.. Infact I wish all vehicles on the road were tracked by GPS. Driving is a Privilege, not a Right.. Tracking everyone could almost eliminate drunk driving, hit and runs, reckless speeding ( no I don't care that you went 20kph over on the highway.. But going twice the limit in a school zone.. ya I'd like to see you arrested regardless if you were seen or not.. )


And for whoever retorts back with that deserves none quote.. shove it I'm not American. And we ALL give up some liberty for security..Seatbelts, car seats, hell road laws in general.

Heh, if for whatever reason they give me this present, I'll be sure to return it to them in multiple pieces... If it was placed on my car, it must of been given to me as a present. Demand it back all you want, I may just change the insides to something more special.

If they are going to follow you they could atleast get off there arses and do it them selves i mean just makes you feel like a cheap hoe lol... (or how about you have two vehicles.. one for your legal stuff one for the other more questionable)

How do they expect people not find these things? I mean the first time you changed your oil surely you'd notice something with antennas hanging off your car? You'd think the federal government would find a better way of accomplishing this goal than sticking a gps the size of rolling pin on your car...

CoMMo said,
How do they expect people not find these things? I mean the first time you changed your oil surely you'd notice something with antennas hanging off your car? You'd think the federal government would find a better way of accomplishing this goal than sticking a gps the size of rolling pin on your car...

How many people change their own oil nowadays?

Fezmid said,

How many people change their own oil nowadays?
True but I'd think most Jiffy-Libe or Quicky Oil Express places would probably tell you that there is something unusual stuck to the bottom of your car that you might want to look at. Whether or not they find it depends on where it's attached.

Tim Dawg said,
True but I'd think most Jiffy-Libe or Quicky Oil Express places would probably tell you that there is something unusual stuck to the bottom of your car that you might want to look at. Whether or not they find it depends on where it's attached.
This just opens up a whole new can of worms, is jiffy lube then interfering with an investigation...

I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. It isn't illegal for police to follow you around in their cars all day. By using this GPS method, the same data is collected without all the added expenses so it's cheaper for tax payers... And this isn't spying. If you don't want a GPS attatched to your car, don't do anything illegal.

Brent1700 said,
I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. It isn't illegal for police to follow you around in their cars all day. By using this GPS method, the same data is collected without all the added expenses so it's cheaper for tax payers... And this isn't spying. If you don't want a GPS attatched to your car, don't do anything illegal.
you assume they won't do it to people they suspect are doing something illegal but with no evidence or proof what-so-ever. A violation of my property (car) and rights, is a violation of my property and rights. Its innocent until proven guilty and I will not have any government agency attaching devices to my car without my prior consent or approval.

Brent1700 said,
I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. It isn't illegal for police to follow you around in their cars all day. By using this GPS method, the same data is collected without all the added expenses so it's cheaper for tax payers... And this isn't spying. If you don't want a GPS attatched to your car, don't do anything illegal.

So what about the woman in question who they "thought" was committing a crime? They had obviously been following her for a while and hadn't gotten any proof, so they got lazy and attached a GPS to do all the work for them. Next thing you know we'll be sticking cameras at intersections like Europe, oh wait...they're already here. I'm going to give the same response to this as I do to every other person who is just ready and willing to hand their rights and responsibilities to an ever growing government. Go watch the movie V for Vendetta. If you've seen it before, watch it again, it obviously didn't sink in.

FuhrerDarqueSyde said,
you assume they won't do it to people they suspect are doing something illegal but with no evidence or proof what-so-ever. A violation of my property (car) and rights, is a violation of my property and rights. Its innocent until proven guilty and I will not have any government agency attaching devices to my car without my prior consent or approval.

If they don't have proof, how would GPS data help? Again how is this different than them just sending out a patrol car to follow you? They wouldn't ask you for your consent in that situation either.

Had one at one point. Fount it when I was washing the undercarriage. Somehow, with any knowledge of mine of course, it just happen to fall off the bridge when I was driving over it.

ozyborn said,
Had one at one point. Fount it when I was washing the undercarriage. Somehow, with any knowledge of mine of course, it just happen to fall off the bridge when I was driving over it.

Make me wonder what you have done to warrant them putting a tracking device on your car in the first place?

Better yet, stand at the end of a runway, and throw it up at a passing airplane taking off.
Boy! Won't they scratch their heads when it shows a ground speed of 600 mph @ 30,000 feet LOL.

ZeroHour said,

Genius! LOL

naap51stang said,
Better yet, stand at the end of a runway, and throw it up at a passing airplane taking off.
Boy! Won't they scratch their heads when it shows a ground speed of 600 mph @ 30,000 feet LOL.

LOL! Just imagine for a second the look on their faces!

naap51stang said,
Better yet, stand at the end of a runway, and throw it up at a passing airplane taking off.
Boy! Won't they scratch their heads when it shows a ground speed of 600 mph @ 30,000 feet LOL.

I think if you are at end of a runway trying to throw something at a plane taking off you will be in a world of hurt if caught.

Doli said,

I think if you are at end of a runway trying to throw something at a plane taking off you will be in a world of hurt if caught.

...and for good reason!