Caught Spying on Student, FBI Demands GPS Tracker Back

Posted: October 11th, 2010 by Gadget42

Mili Note: What I would do were I to find one of these on my vehicle: Option 1) head straight to the nearest FBI/police office and re-plant it on one of their vehicles.  Option 2) find the nearest big-rig that obviously runs interstate and plant it there.  Option 3) if you live near the ocean, bury it in a fish and feed it to a dolphin/whale/seal.  Option 4)  walk into the nearest FBI/police building and tell them that they seem to have left something behind when they were hanging around your car.  Option 5) sell it on eBay and accept payment only in $5 screwdrivers or $50 toilet seats.

by Kim Zetter, Wired

A California student got a visit from the FBI this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car, and a friend posted photos of it online. The post prompted wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do.

It took just 48 hours to find out: The device was real, the student was being secretly tracked and the FBI wanted its expensive device back, the student told in an interview Wednesday.

The answer came when half-a-dozen FBI agents and police officers appeared at Yasir Afifi’s apartment complex in Santa Clara, California, on Tuesday demanding he return the device.

Afifi, a 20-year-old U.S.-born citizen, cooperated willingly and said he’d done nothing to merit attention from authorities. Comments the agents made during their visit suggested he’d been under FBI surveillance for three to six months.

An FBI spokesman wouldn’t acknowledge that the device belonged to the agency or that agents appeared at Afifi’s house.

“I can’t really tell you much about it, because it’s still an ongoing investigation,” said spokesman Pete Lee, who works in the agency’s San Francisco headquarters.

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