Student finds GPS bug on car, uploads photo, FBI demands to have their warrantless bug back

Yasir Afifi is a 20-year-old, US-born American citizen, a California university student. Last week, he found a GPS tracker attached to his car. A friend uploaded a photo of the bug to Reddit, and asked if anyone knew anything about it. 48 hours later, the FBI showed up at his door, announced that the bug was theirs, and asked for it back. The 9th Circuit recently ruled that cops can secretly enter private property, without a warrant, and sneak covert bugs onto suspects' cars.

The agent who initially spoke with Afifi identified himself then as Vincent and told Afifi, "We're here to recover the device you found on your vehicle. It's federal property. It's an expensive piece, and we need it right now."

Afifi asked, "Are you the guys that put it there?" and the agent replied, "Yeah, I put it there." He told Afifi, "We're going to make this much more difficult for you if you don't cooperate."

Afifi retrieved the device from his apartment and handed it over, at which point the agents asked a series of questions – did he know anyone who traveled to Yemen or was affiliated with overseas training? One of the agents produced a printout of a blog post that Afifi's friend Khaled allegedly wrote a couple of months ago. It had "something to do with a mall or a bomb," Afifi said. He hadn't seen it before and doesn't know the details of what it said. He found it hard to believe Khaled meant anything threatening by the post…

Afifi's encounter with the FBI ended with the agents telling him not to worry.

"We have all the information we needed," they told him. "You don't need to call your lawyer. Don't worry, you're boring. "

Caught Spying on Student, FBI Demands GPS Tracker Back

(Thanks, Marilyn, via Submitterator!)

(Image: Yasir Afifi)