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Home / Articles / Views / In Case You Missed It /  In case you missed it | Spies, lies and GPS
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Thursday, October 14,2010

In case you missed it | Spies, lies and GPS

 


Spies, lies and GPS

As we all know, getting bad news when you take your car in for service is just part of the joy of owning a vehicle. But for Yasir Afifi, 20, the news wasn’t just bad — it was bizarre.

According to Wired.com, Afifi, a marketing student at Mission College in Santa Clara, Calif., took his Ford Lincoln LS in for an oil change. While the vehicle was on the lift, he noticed an antenna sticking out near the rear wheel. At his request, a mechanic took a look and found a strange contraption stuck to the car by a magnet.

After one of Afifi’s friends placed an image of the device on Reddit.com, Afifi learned it was a sophisticated GPS tracking device of the sort used by the FBI to track the movements of people its deems suspicious. Afifi, being a U.S.-born Arab-American who is ethnically half Egyptian, apparently fits the criteria.

Boulder Weekly reported back in July 2003 on a similar device that the FBI had secretly placed on the car of environmental activist Mike Nicosia, who aroused their suspicion by being roommates with Rod Coronado, member of the Earth First! movement. But back then, no one had really seen one of these gizmos before. Social networking was in its infancy, so rather than going online Nicosia brought the device to the paper. We took it to some experts who said federal agents probably used it to track Nicosia’s whereabouts.

Of course, the FBI denied it. In fact, the FBI spokesperson went ballistic on the phone when we called, actually raising her voice at us and accusing us of being paranoid.

But this time around, there was no denying that the device was theirs.

After photos of it went up on Reddit, two FBI agents showed up at Afifi’s home and demanded to have their expensive spying device back. They allegedly threatened to make things hard for him if he didn’t cooperate.

We’d like to think of the FBI as an organization made up of heroes who would never use fear to manipulate innocent people and would take great pains to defend the civil rights of the population they’re supposed to serve. But when agents spy on American citizens and toss threats around, they lose hero status and end up being relegated to the category of thugs.

And for the record, we weren’t paranoid back in 2003. We were right on.


Boulder gets tough on snow

The Boulder City Council voted on Oct. 5 to enact stricter rules for removing snow and ice from sidewalks. Property owners now have only until noon on the day after a snowstorm to get their sidewalks shoveled, and the cutoff time for a snowstorm is 5 a.m. So if it stops snowing at 4:59 a.m. and you’re one of the unfortunate few in Boulder who actually has a job and must go to work, you might find yourself getting ticketed unless you can fit in an extra hour to shovel the sidewalk.

OK, fine. We don’t want to see residents slipping and sliding their way to orthopedic surgery because people can’t get their walkways cleared. But seven hours seems pretty darned harsh, especially when you take into consideration how terrible the City of Boulder is at removing snow from the streets.

Here’s our challenge to City Council members. The next time we get a substantial snowfall, please get into your vehicles and drive east on county roads to Longmont. You will find that the county and Longmont governments kick Boulder’s butt when it comes to making the streets safe for motorists. In fact, you can tell the moment street maintenance shifts from the county to the city of Boulder because the roads become slick as shit.

Yes, we know the city would like us all to take buses or ride our bikes, but until we see City Council members wading through knee-deep slush piles to wait an hour and a half for a bus that doesn’t come, we’ll stick with our cars — and hope that Boulder can do a better job of keeping people safe this winter.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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Why should he have to give it "back"?  It was attached to his property and that makes it his to do with as he pleases.  In effect it was abandoned on his car.  The only way the government could prove it was theirs would be if they had a court order placing it on his car. 

I suggest we have an annual check your car for government spying day with any devices being found going in an effective trash compactor.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT

B.D. EUBANKS WAS ARRESTED BY THE PLEASANTON POLICE DEPT. IN 2007 AND A GPS DEVICE WAS PLACED ON HIS CAR. THE P.P.D. THEN STOLE HIS CAR, HELD IT FOR 2 1/2 MONTHS AND THEN JUNKED IT 3 DAYS BEFORE HIS PRE-TRIAL. WHY? BECAUSE THEY WERE WRONG IN GAINING ACCESS TO HIS CAR WITHOUT A WARRENT AND THE POLICE NEEDED TO COVER UP THE THEFT OF THE CAR SO THEY USED A TOWING COMPANY IN RICHMOND, CA OWNED BY A BURNOUT FORMER CHP OFFICER TO HELP IN THE DISTRUCTION OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. AND HE DID. EUBANKS NAME WAS REMOVED FROM HIS CAR WITH THE AID OF CRONYISM AND COLLUSION. JUDGE H. WALKER AND C. MORUZA NEVER INVESTIGATED THE MISCONDUCT OF THE PLEASANTON POLICE DEPT. OR THE DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE. WHY?
BECAUSE WHAT LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE FBI CALL A SIMPLE CASSETTE TAPE PLAYER ISN'T WHAT IT TRUELY IS. IT'S MORE LIKE A STATE-OF-THE-ART MP3 PLAYER CAPABLE OF NOT JUST GPS TRACKING, BUT BLUETOOTH INTERFACING WITH A BUG INSIDE OF THE CAR.
AND THAT IS EVESDROPPING. EUBANKS SUED THE TOW COMPANY RESPONSIBLE FOR DESTROYING HIS CAR AND EVIDENCE; DONE BY THE REQUEST OF THE PLESANTON POLICE DEPT.. THAT LAWSUIT WAS WON BY EUBANKS. HERE'S A LINK TO THAT SUIT IN RICHMOND, CA.;

      http://icms.cc-courts.org/tellme/tellme/tellmecasereport.asp?language=ENGLISH&courtcode=R&casenumber=RSC09-0671&casetype=RS

      IF THE PLACEMENT OF THE GPS DEVICE WAS KOSHER AND THERE WAS NO MISCONDUCT ON BEHALF OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT INVOLVED, THEN YOU HAVE TO ASK YOURSELF "WHY WAS ALL THE EVIDENCE AND GPS TRACKER INTEL THROW OUT BY JUDGE C. MORUZA?" WHY DID SHE SUPPRESS ALL THE EVIDENCE IN THE CASE? MEANWHILE, THE PLEASANTON CITY ATTORNEY MICHAEL H. ROUSH STATE BAR #72456 HAS RESIGNED AS A RESULT. DISTRICT ATTORNY THOMAS J. ORLOFF STATE BAR #45714 FOLLOWED SUIT AS WELL.
LADIES & GENTLEMEN IT'S UNFORTUNATE THAT OUR GOVERNMENT AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES BEND, BREAK, AND MOLEST OUR CONSTITIUTIONAL LAWS USING THE PATRIOT ACT, BUT IT HAPPENS EVERYDAY. EQUALLY DISHEARTENING ARE THE FOLKS

·          WITHIN OUR GOVERNMENT WHO CAN'T SAY THE LAST WORD OF OUR PLEDGE OF ALLIEGENCE........"ALL". THESE FOLKS MUMBLE SOMETHING ELSE LIKE, " AND JUSTICE FOR 'ME'." OR, "AND JUSTICE FOR 'SOME'."

 

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT

Pleasanton, CA Police Chief Michael Frazier has turned in his resignation papers on Oct. 27, 2010 Resigning Officially on November 13, 2010 Wow.... I didn't see that coming like a freight train in the distance.

Stay tuned..... Sustained Judicial complaints and indictments will follow.

 

Frazier didnt "resign" he retired, you dumb ass! So much for your conspiracy theory. Maybe the tracking device was left on the "grassy knoll?" Get a job......

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
??!

Chief Frazier got boooted out of the Pleasanton Police Dept. Thats why he didn't show up to Dave Spiller's swearing in ceremony. Oh yeah, I heard... he was at his daughter's graduation. Yeah, RITE! More like he didn't want to answer any questions from Media about his Special Investigations Unit in Pleasanton CA. and the illegal tracking they involve themselves in. Annon, you sound like a desperate cop trying to save face. Shut yer yap. There are too many hidden camera's you don't know Dick about.

 

 
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