Imagine you take your car to the mechanic for an oil change, and once he has it up on the lift you see a strange wire sticking out the back. After a little digging you discover it’s attached to a strange piece of equipment stuck behind the exhaust with a magnet. What is it? Maybe a bomb? No way to know. You’re friend snaps a pic and posts it online where users identify it as an Orion Guardian ST820 tracking device, which sells exclusively to army and law enforcement.
Maybe this seems far fetched, but a recent ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gives law enforcement the power to plant a secret GPS tracking device on anyone’s car without a warrant, even if it’s parked in a private driveway. Welcome to the land of the free. What’s unlikely about this story is that the device was ever found at all. A former FBI Agent confirmed that this was an an older model and the newer models are much smaller and harder to spot. None the less this is exactly what happened last Sunday to Yasir Afifi, a 20-year-old business marketing student at Mission College in Santa Clara, California who’s only crime was fitting a racial/religious profile.