The use of GPS tracking device Malaysia is poised to become one of the most contentious privacy issues before the Supreme Court, if it agrees to hear an appeal filed by the Obama administration last month. The administration is seeking to overturn a ruling by a lower court that law enforcement officials must obtain a warrant before using a tracker.
The constitutional matter until now has been left to district courts around the country to decide, resulting in a patchwork of conflicting rulings. Meanwhile, a federal lawsuit filed in March by an Arab-American college student named Yasir Afifi alleges that the FBI violated his privacy rights by placing a GPS device on his car without a warrant, and that the bureau targeted him simply because of his ethnic background.
In the midst of this legal controversy, Threat Level decided to take a look inside one of the devices — which are generally custom-made for law enforcement. Working with the tear down artists at iFixit, we examined the device Thomas found on her car nearly six years ago, which you can see in the photos and video accompanying this story.
When Thomas found the device on her vehicle back in 2005, she ripped it from the underside of her fender, but quickly grew fearful the FBI would raid her house if agents suspected she’d removed it. So she carried it in a duffel bag in her trunk for a week, while she and her boyfriend considered what to do.