The FBI isn't in the mood to discuss why it installed hidden microphones and cameras in and around Alameda County's Rene C. Davidson Courthouse. It had been conducting secret surveillance for 10 months, even though they didn't have a court order.
From the East Bay Express:
At the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland, the FBI planted hidden microphones inside light fixtures on the courthouse's exterior steps to capture the conversations of people attending the foreclosure auctions. Cameras and microphones were installed in parked Alameda County vehicles next to the courthouse. The FBI even hid a microphone in the AC Transit bus stop on Fallon Street, and dropped a bugged backpack next to a statue inside the courthouse, according to a letter sent by US Justice Department attorney Kate Patchen to Marr's attorneys on March 15. The surveillance was ongoing from March 2010 to January 2011.
[D]efense attorneys in the San Mateo case said they believe the federal agents committed felonies when they planted the bugs.
Facing this challenge, government prosecutors in San Mateo have moved to withdraw the recordings as evidence at trial, but the defense has called this move an attempt by the FBI to "cut its losses and sweep its criminal conduct under the rug."