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The FBI's use of GPS vehicle tracking devices is becoming a contentious privacy issue in the courts, with the Obama administration seeking Supreme Court approval for its use of the devices without a warrant, and a federal civil rights lawsuit targeting the Justice Department for tracking the movements of an Arab-American student.
In the midst of this legal controversy, Threat Level decided to take a look at the inside of one of the devices — which are generally custom-made for law enforcement. Working with the teardown artists at iFixit, we examined a device an environmental activist discovered on her vehicle in 2005, which she recently provided to us.
Battery pack; GPS antenna; Transmitter-receiver unit; Magnetic mounting bracket
We finally have one of these on the teardown table! Being in its presence, I can almost feel my civil liberties being flushed down the toilet. Before we whip out the blowtorches and jackhammers, here's a look at the entire tracking system. Clockwise from the top, the system is composed of:
The components of the system are all attached to the tracked vehicle with extremely powerful magnets. Some were so stubbornly attached that they ripped out of the mounting brackets to forever remain stuck on the undercarriage of the host vehicle.
In 1997, the NTSB recommended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration create a plan to put black boxes in all vehicles. The technology already had been proven in race cars.
WHY would they go putting these boxes on cars to track you when they can in so many ways already?
Originally posted by Misterlondon
we are all walking around with a tracker on us, we all also are bugged with a listening device, and we do this willingly.. with our cellphone..
all our email communications and interests can be monitored through the internet..
most new cars these days are fitted with trackers..
im sure if the fbi, cia, mi5, kgb wanted to monitor your activivty, it would not be that hard for them to do it,
i dont think they would need to go to the effort of placing one of these 90's type bugs or trackers on you, your vehicle or home..
unless of course they wanted you to know they are watching you..