In the middle of all this, they still had time to try to bully him into getting back the surveillance equipment from their botched attempt, with lines like "We’re going to make this much more difficult for you if you don’t cooperate."
Just reading the story sickens me.
German source: http://www.taz.de/1/nord/artikel/?dig=2008%2F04%2F22%2Fa0009...
It seems to me that anger is based on the circumvention of the courts and not that the boy was targeted because he was Arab American. Both reasons just don't seem morally right.
That sounds to me like a pretty explicit threat that they'll be violating the 14th Amendment's "equal protection" provisions. IANAL, but I wonder if that can amount to anything.
They also can't lie about the legality of actions while in the visible position of being the police. That means they CAN lie about it when undercover.
(I have a lot of respect for the police: they accept a lot of risk to try to ensure a civil society in exchange for not a lot of reward, but there's little doubt that if they see themselves in an adversarial relationship with someone they are willing and able to mislead or misdirect that person in order to accomplish their aims. There is a reason that the Miranda Warning became a legal requirement.)
'Ownership' of something, and 'committing a crime' with that something are orthogonal. Apart from some specifically designated by law items (drugs, weapons), committing a crime with something does not change its ownership status. I don't quite see the controversy here (that is, after one steps back and looks over the 'oh my god! big gubmint is spying on us!' knee-jerk reaction. Let's not forget the kid (from what I gathered...) was apparently connected to organized crime, even if only through blood).
So if you're the son of the local mafia don, from what age should you followed around by the FBI? 18? seems old - there are plenty of child offenders. maybe 10 or so. At what age, having lived a life free from crime, should the FBI stop following you? 25? 30? 40?
Perhaps we could assume people are innocent until we can prove them guilty.
As a side note, I quite resent your populist straw man argument.
"Perhaps we could assume people are innocent until we can prove them guilty."
Of course, and how do you do that? Sometimes, by tracking people you have a reasonable suspicion of guilt of, as long as its done through legal means. Let me also point out that the Ninth Circuit ruled last month that warrantless gps tracking is legal. You may oppose this, it's still the (current) law (yes I'm aware that it's a contested issue, and I also don't know what jurisdiction this was in).
The law has not changed, and the law is quite clear in requiring a warrant.
The law will not change until the constitution is ammended.
It is very important to recognize that the courts do not create law, and they cannot change the meaning of the law with rulings (otherwise there would be no purpose in having separation of powers.)
That, in effect, they are able to do so, is merely a measure of how lawless the government in this country has become.
But that should be obvious. For instance, the existence of the FBI is unconstitutional, since it is not mentioned as an agency of the federal government in the enumerated powers clause.
Not so. When a court holds something, it is exercising its lawgiving function. The opinion (sometimes referred to as 'dicta') is an explanation for the holding. The latter is basically a statement of views, but the holding itself has legal force. It's true that they are often mixed up, by the public, press, lawyers or even other courts in descending order of frequency; that's why there are higher courts, and even the Supreme Court sometimes reverses a previously held judgment.
No, it has not changed, but nor is it as clear as you think. We do not know whether or not a warrant was obtained in this case, but current law (as held recently) is that if the car is accessible to the general public, then sticking a tracking device to it does not require a warrant, any more than a stakeout does.
This is so, but the courts do have the sole power to decide how the law should be interpreted, should the meaning of the law be unclear. The Constitution (III.2) says that '[t]he judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity [..and..] the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact...'
Jurisdiction means, literally, stating the law. The separation of powers is embodied in this decision-making power of the judicial branch - Congress makes laws, the Executive makes decrees, the Courts make judgments. And that includes judgments about the meaning of the law, which is why the Constitution draws a distinction between 'Law and Fact.' If the courts were only able to evaluate matters of fact, then every dispute over the meaning of law would have to be resolved in Congress, a task which would be hopelessly burdensome.
This is sort of how it works in countries with a civil law system; courts are mainly triers of fact and apply the law without analyzing it in any great detail. But even here they sometimes make adjustments, if errors or contradictions exist which would lead to an absurd result. The United States has a common law framework, which is partly why we still have the notion of judicial 'circuits' (which in the distant past involved judges traveling around and setting up temporary courts called Assizes to judge cases wherever they stopped). Common law is where we get our notions of precedent and the reason we look back to earlier decisions (and the lengthy explanations given for them).
Why can't you find anything about the common law in the constitution? Because it was left to Congress to specify regulations for the Courts. Which they did in the Judiciary Act of 1789, during the first Congress, under President George Washington.
Legislation is always incomplete because it is impossible to anticipate all future situations. By resolving ambiguities and contradiction via an orderly process, Courts can fill in the gap where the legislation does not provide a clear answer. If Congress disapproves of a court's interpretation, then it can and does issue new laws to update or clarify its intent. If it chooses not to, then the Court's holding remains in force; if the public is unhappy with the result, it must elect a Congress which more closely aligns with its opinion.
For instance, the existence of the FBI is unconstitutional
Rubbish! Who told you that? By that logic the Air Force would need to be disbanded immediately, since the Constitution has nothing to say about flying machines or new branches of the military.
Go read Article II, which mentions 'executive Departments' without spelling out what they should be, and 'Officers...whose Appointment is not herein provided for, and which may be established by Law...' - are the departments or offices in question enumerated? No, it's assumed that Congress will create them as it sees fit. And if you think something they do or create is unconstitutional, then you seek the decision of a court, because only courts have the authority to make such determinations. Congress can't certify its own output as constitutional, nor can the executive state its decrees or decisions to be so.
Seriously, if this is your own interpretation then you need to do some more study, or if you got the idea from someone else then you were badly misinformed. the US constitution is the first word of American law, not the last. The idea that if you can't find something in there then it doesn't exist is terribly misguided.
FWIW, the socialist system you advocate is circling the drain. IT is a race between Europe and the States to see which collapses first, but it is, yet again, proof of the consequences of your immoral ideology.
You've obviously never read the US constitution. So, go fuck yourself.
You (as in you the law enforcement agency) might be in the right to attach stuff to my car, but I as the owner of the vehicle am not responsible if your stuff goes missing in action.
And if you do it without a warrant I'll make sure you have bigger problems.
[you are both right, if only you listened to each other]
Version 1 (Jacques): if the GPS tracker disappears and no one can prove that I had anything to do with it, then I'm not liable. True.
Version 2 (Roel): if I destroy the GPS tracker and tell the court that yes, I found it, I knew it wasn't mine, and I destroyed it, then I am liable. True.
"You (as in you the law enforcement agency) might be in the right to attach stuff to my car, but I as the owner of the vehicle am not responsible if your stuff goes missing in action."
Wrong, If the owner of the car on purpose destroys the agencies property, he is legally liable for those damages. How could it not be so? How could the fact that a tool is used unlawfully detract from the ownership? When the agency attaches the tool to the car, there is no transfer of ownership.
Secondly, I'm not sure what you are imagining that the absence of a warrant means, in theoretical and practical terms. In our country, illegally obtained evidence will usually cause at most a small reduction of the sentence. A complete dismissal is quite rare.
> Secondly, I'm not sure what you are imagining that the absence of a warrant means, in theoretical and practical terms. In our country, illegally obtained evidence will usually cause at most a small reduction of the sentence. A complete dismissal is quite rare.
That is a structural problem with your legal system. Besides that, I've done nothing wrong as far as I know (other than maybe dropping your GPS unit on the back of a truck bound for Afghanistan) so much good luck in prosecuting me.
Here (.nl) cases that rely on evidence gathered in illegal means get thrown out with some regularity, even if the rest of it is ironclad.
Not that long ago a bunch of car thieves was apprehended and in a first sitting convicted based on information taken from a license plate scanning experiment. The case was rock solid, except for one little detail, that data should not have been in the hands of the police, so the whole thing was thrown out without a chance for a 'do-over'.
Tainted evidence is the last thing the police here wants in their cases, and throwing out the whole case keeps them sharp.
What? You're the one with the extraordinary claim. I've already repeated several times in this thread that unlawful use of something doesn't change the ownership of that something. Someone who, on purpose, destroys or damages other people's property is held to compensate for it. What's the incredulous part in that?
"That is a structural problem with your legal system."
Well I on purpose used "our", since "my" legal system is also the Dutch one. Also, I'm one paper away from finishing my degree in Dutch law - not to argue by authority, and I'm certainly no expert on criminal procedure, just pointing out that I do have some basic knowledge of Dutch criminal and property law.
Anyway, "Here (.nl) cases that rely on evidence gathered in illegal means get thrown out with some regularity, even if the rest of it is ironclad." is, to put it mildly, open for debate. Sure, blatant violations like fishing expeditions (which was the case in the license plate scanning) will be dismissed. Smaller infractions (like retroactively applying for a warrant) much less. And don't forget that the Dutch 'reasonable suspicion' threshold is quite low. An anonymous phone tip will do. And hey, if that phone call happens to come from a phone booth across the street from the police station, who cares.
No extraordinary claim involved, prove that I'm the one that 'illegally disposed' of your or someone else's property that you attached surreptitiously to my car.
I'm not claiming I own it, I'm just making the point that if I destroy something that I'm not supposed to even know I've got then I don't need to prove that I own it, I can just conveniently lose it or destroy it in a way that would make it very difficult for you to prove that I did so. If only because you'd have to prove my possessing it in the first place, which does not mesh well with a device attached to follow my whereabouts in an unobtrusive way. Unless you plan on sticking a watch team with cameras on me as well, but in that case you wouldn't need a GPS unit.
A GPS unit is basically a way to track someone without further surveillance.
> "That is a structural problem with your legal system."
> Well I on purpose used "our", since "my" legal system is also the Dutch one.
Ok, so that makes it a funny situation then, two Dutch people arguing US law, personally I wouldn't have any compunction dealing with such a device in a very destructive manner on the premise that I don't know who does own it and if someone 'loses' their stuff under my car they only have themselves to blame if it gets lost or damaged.
> Also, I'm one paper away from finishing my degree in Dutch law - not to argue by authority
No, but you do mention that to bolster your argument.
> and I'm certainly no expert on criminal procedure, just pointing out that I do have some basic knowledge of Dutch criminal and property law.
So do I. So what. Transfer of property requires in most cases a consent on behalf of both parties and preferably a bill of sale or a deed of gifting. Other than that ownership is a pretty murky business from a legal point of view, I could make the case that if you attach something to my car that I assume possession of it, and if you don't agree with that you'd have to sue me. But first you'd have to get me to agree that I acknowledge that the device was there in the first place, but my whole argument rests on the fact that I have absolutely no intention to do so.
So the proof that I had your goods in my possession would have to come from you, and that might be a very difficult thing to do. After all, if I didn't know about it but you and your buddies did then why should I be the one to be held responsible for loss, damage or theft by some unknown third party.
> Smaller infractions (like retroactively applying for a warrant) much less.
Cite a case please, and name the defendants lawyer, that way I can be sure to avoid them.
retro-active warrants are very much frowned upon here, prosecuting party would have to meet pretty stringent levels of proof that there was an element of speed involved of such magnitude that the normal procedure could not be followed. In any case a competent lawyer will use that to his advantage.
> And don't forget that the Dutch 'reasonable suspicion' threshold is quite low. An anonymous phone tip will do. And hey, if that phone call happens to come from a phone booth across the street from the police station, who cares.
I agree that anonymous tips are not good enough to meet the standard, but from what I've seen of the Dutch legal system the police is not in a habit of going across the street phoning in illegally obtained evidence in order to 'launder' it.
If you have any evidence to the contrary then I'll accept that as incidental, not as structural. In other words, no doubt that there have been such cases but I do not feel that this is a thing that happens with great regularity, and I would hope for those cases where it did happen to be exposed and the responsible police officers to be removed from service.
Hemp growers acquited after police enters their house after anonymous phone call.
Ok then I misunderstood your remark, I thought you meant I had to prove "he is legally liable for those damages". But yeah if you turn it into a matter of evidence, anything goes, it becomes purely based on the specific circumstances. I was arguing the theoretical fundamentals.
"ownership is a pretty murky business from a legal point of view"
Eh no it's not. Transferring ownership is very widely studied, specified and understood. There is no discussion that the tracked subject doesn't get ownership. He does get possession, obviously. Nobody would argue otherwise. Again, if you bend this into an evidence case, all bets are off. In the concrete case the guy posted a picture of himself holding the device on the web. All the armchair lawyers saying 'oh he shouldn't give it back! it's now his!' don't know what they're talking about. I was in my original comment merely pointing out that this guy has no leg to stand on - he should just return the thing to the feds (well, he did) and save himself a lot of trouble.
"Cite a case please, and name the defendants lawyer,"
You can find the names of the lawyers in the various instances in the history of judgments.
These are just the cases where the judgments have been published, and where they were explicitly mentioned in the case. Also cases are only published when they have legal relevance, routine cases are not (they're not even written up if there's no appeal). Obviously most of these cases are handled 'behind the scenes'. Nobody ever knows that not everything went 100% 'by the book'. One case where (part of the) evidence was thrown out was when the police picked a guy up from work, threatened him, bullied him into silence after he repeatedly asked for a warrant, entered his house (without a warrant) through the neighbor's balcony, cuffed the suspect and threatened him and his mom to arrest him until he gave permission to search the house. This is about how bad it needs to get before evidence is excluded. I have no reason to believe these policemen were sanctioned.
"the police is not in a habit of going across the street phoning in illegally obtained evidence in order to 'launder' it."
Well it's all hearsay from here on, so we can go 'yes!' 'no!' for hours. I do think though you remember the IRT case; that's only 15 years ago! Also read accounts like http://www.koudbloed.nl/content/docs/robzijlstra.pdf.
Like I said, from here on it's no longer based on verifiable facts, not worth the trouble. I do think you have a too rosy picture of the practical workings of the justice system, though (note that I'm not making a moral judgment; I think overall it works pretty well. I'm just saying that it ain't like on Law and Order).
This is true, but if someone places something on your car, I'm not sure they can have a reasonable expectation that they will receive it back in one piece. It is reasonable that if someone found a GPS device attached to their car that they would want to remove it.
If I placed something under your car, why would I assume that I'd be able to retrieve it back again? It could become dislodged. You could have hit a bad pot hole and it fell out. It could have been disabled by going through a car wash.
It would still be the agency's property; however, I wouldn't be liable for anything that happened to it.
Koresh was not hiding anything. This is why he, and all the men, women and children, in there had to be killed at the end of that siege. So that these facts would not be made publicly known.
You talk about "Branch Dividian style sect" and most americans have a completely false perspective on those people and that event because they were fed government lies during the entire period.
And afterwards, when the truth came out, it was no longer news.
Enough of that, and you start thinking that it is ok to illegally spy on americans.
This frustrates me as well. I hope the ACLU challenges this.
I am not sure whether they did that or if it would have made a difference.
Don't underestimate the role of the "incredibly expensive" part. The physical and resource constraints for tailing people limit law enforcement's ability to do that. In this way GPS trackers are more intrusive than traditional surveillance methods, in the sense that they can be deployed indiscriminately at a much larger scale.
(For a related example, in "Code" Lessig argues that the US founders didn't need an explicit right to privacy since it was implied by the search-and-seizure and trespass constraints. Prior to electronic surveillance methods, it was difficult to invade one's privacy without already violating trespass or similar laws.)
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*
Seems like FBI didn't bother to check the context of that comment.
Our tax dollars being put to good use.
The communist party HQ found a bug and removed it, and were subsequently prosecuted for destroying government property. While the government denied in court spying on them, and even denied the existence of MI5, the agency involved.
The case succeeded on the basis that those being spied on believed the government were responsible and therefore intended to destroy government property.
Can't see any reference to where this is located on the CPGB website:
Is it really that easy to tie up so many federal resources? They knew everything about this guy and dedicated a team to him just because he was the blog posters friend (edit: a Reddit commentors friend). Amazing and inefficient.
The real terrorists can drown themselves in noise by flooding the intel agencies with fake posts from real people and real names. I wouldn't be surprised if they are not already doing this.
Dedicating entire teams to follow all the friends of every semi-threatening blog post doesn't scale.
Yes. The Secret Service came to my house, with guns, because of a one-sentence Slashdot comment I wrote.
I'd be a lot more worried about people that are not posting unspecific threats openly in nerdy forums. And if they would then 'watch' would be a much more appropriate response than 'alert to being noticed'.
"Secret service" apparently means do things without much secrecy.
For the record, I'm going to kill the president too. But to make it a bit harder I'm also not going to claim of which country.
Haha! It's not their time(money) so they don't give a shit. It's our money.
If people were better at grammar, the taxpayers would have slightly more money :)
(The Slashdot FAQ used to say, "we don't store IPs", but this silently disappeared.)
I am going to kill ..
I think all citizens need government-tracking devices.
(if it's not immediately clear, the writer misused that hyphen, which changes the meaning into something that might actually be more appropriate, given the story)
See if the authorities can figure it out.
On a more serious note, California is in the 9th Circuit which recently ruled you have no expectation to privacy regarding your car parked in your driveway or an open lot.
I doubt the FBI agents had a warrant.
Why is it that it's so lopsided? Since it's the president (I think) who is nominating all of these justices, rather than a local leader, I would expect that the demographics of each circuit would be fairly similar (generally reflecting the preferences of the preceding few presidents, rather than any geographic tendencies).
If I could be excused for wearing a tinfoil hat for a moment, it makes me wonder if it's some kind of long-term strategy to manufacture (and get us used to) wildly liberal case law.
I don't think you want them attempting a controlled demolition of your car, especially if you know that it's really a tracking device.
Seems like a waste of my tax dollars to put a tracking device on his car then...
I'd probably find a desert and draw something very confusing for them.
This could have went south pretty quickly.
Oh, WAIT... they do that now and then in the US, but you have to be someone REALLY dangerous, like a pot dealer.
There are elements to it and one of those elements includes the arbitrary tracking of citizens without warrants.
No, it's not a police state, but yes, it's very bad to have things going in the direction they're going. We MUST stand up and STOP this kind of stuff. We must not let it keep getting worse.
EDIT: To quote Picard, "the line must be drawn HERE!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGF1NP-FrCU
But watch the entire clip for context.
Reality is, this country is a police state, it is the modern one, and it is pumped full of government propaganda about how it isn't a police state and how all these police state actions are justified so that people are able to continue to delude themselves.
Frankly most of the police abuses are simply never reported in mainstream media.
But the reality is, depending on where you draw the line, either this is already a police state or it is well on its way.
Secondly, while there are 'checkpoints' of sorts in NYC, I don't believe they're the variety staffed by heavily armed guards. I haven't been to NYC in around 5 years, but as I remember it interacting with police, heavily armed or otherwise, would be an extraordinary event on a daily commute.
Of course my definition is arbitrary, but I stand by it.
You are a good german. A useful idiot. The kind that enthusiastically joined the nazi party and made snotty arguments to anyone how expressed concern.
It is you, and the millions of unthinking bovine people like you in this country that are enabling the destruction of capitalism and the massive loss of life that it will entail.
You do not belong on this site, since you are obviously a socialist troll.
Guess I watch too much (70's era) James Bond...
I figure the bulk is in the battery pack. Altho that baffles me, if I was tasked with building one I'd make it splice into to the tail lights power like a cheap tow adapter kit.
edit: Damn, I had to add "make a lojack style tracker for my truck" to my project list. Just seems too easy to create something that updates truck location to a private twitter account whenever the engine is started/brakes applied.
Easy to say that sitting behind a keyboard.
When the FBI knocks at your door and screams "terrorism" to your shock, all you want to do is want that moment to disappear forever and hope your family is ok.
Taking the gov to task is pretty low down on the list of to-dos.
Personally, were I to discover such an item on my vehicle, it would go directly to my lawyers office; it wouldn't get posted on reddit.
Are we talking about torture ? About secret detention for months ? About deprivation of elementary defense rights ?
Organization defending citizen rights should be helped to focus on real threats and problems too, like this fishy 9/11 event.
I'm not US citizen, don't live in the US and have no particular connections or interests in the US. I just wanted to let you know that the reactions to this incident where it seem defending peoples own right has priority over defending peoples security gives an impression of selfishness and short sighting.
The other thing I don't understand is why the discovery and the device wasn't immediately reported to the police. It could have been put there by black hat people on to something on his behalf. According to his profile, this would be very plausible. Something like turning him into a terrorist, or whatever.
10 attempts failed or were foiled .
That’s all in all about 160 deaths per year. In 2007 accidental discharge of firearms killed 613 people in the US. Accidental drowning killed 3,443 people. Accidental poisoning killed 29,846 people .
Law enforcement should of course try to prevent terror attacks but given those numbers I don’t see why US citizens should give up much of their liberties in return.
 I used the list of terrorist incidents on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents) as a source which means that those numbers are not necessarily exact but close enough for the purpose of this comment.
 Responsible for more than 99 percent of the dead and more than 97 percent of the wounded.
 That number seems very low. Has anybody better numbers or can anybody confirm that number?
 All numbers: Jiaquan Xu et al. (2010): Deaths: Final Data for 2007. In: National Vital Statistics Reports, Table 10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (PDF: http://www.cdc.gov/NCHS/data/nvsr/nvsr58/nvsr58_19.pdf)
Eh, a lot of Americans feel like personal rights should be a higher priority than security. A very famous and admired American once said
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
So yeah, I guess that is selfish, but it is also a very American value; when you get down to it, we are a selfish people, and to some extent we are proud of that selfishness and independence.
I strongly disagree that it is short sighted. The thing is, governments have a way of getting out of hand if the citizenry doesn't keep it in check. I think that long term our distrust of our government will serve us well. In general, I think in any organization, listening to the dissenting voices is good for the health and long term viability of the organization.
Edit: Yeah, we probably are a little bit different than the rest of the world in this regard; part of that, i think, is that it's been so long since any other country posed anything like a credible threat to us. We have to worry about our government like everyone else does, but unlike everyone else, there's really no realistic chance of anyone else posing anything like a credible threat to our safety.
My point is that I don't think this incident is a significant citizen right threat and while you focus on it, all the other much more dramatic threats to your democracy and nation ideal gets unnoticed and go on.
In this case that mean (means as in a 'way' or man? either way, something) is us. well, the news media and us. In a democracy, the ultimate "watchers" are "the people"
This watcher is certainly not perfect, but it's what we've got. To understand the American you must understand that he is deeply suspicious of authority. Yes, the government has it's own checks and balances... but I trust them about as far as I can spit.
As for this particular incident, well, most Americans consider their car to be the most private of property. Some places you'll get shot for messing with another man's truck. It's just not something you do. Regardless of what some court says, nearly every American on the street would consider attaching a tracking device to his car a major violation of his privacy and dignity.
If there really is some global terrorist network I think it's safe to say at this point that they're so hopelessly incompetent as to not be worth worrying about. There are countless vulnerabilities in the US , why would terrorists be so stupid as to only attack our hardest point? Criminals don't act that way. A mugger doesn't walk past 100 old ladies with gold jewelry to rob the most dangerous looking person he can find.
 For example, US sea ports. They check every hundredth container if that (Walmart wont tolerate delays on shipping).
There's one other issue that stops them: the suicide-bombing-kind of terrorists who are actually capable of pulling off an attack can only do it once.
I mean, really, it's not a strategy for long-term success is it?
Their very name is proof of their eliteness! (or the gullibility of americans.)
Or they could have just listened to the first WTC bombing trial where the prosecution made up the name "Al Queda" so they could charge Osama bin Laden In absentia under the RICO laws.
This point of view is asinine. However, it's very common, and it's the position that the authorities themselves hide behind.
If we want to win this battle to preserve our rights, we need to listen to, and understand, what those who would throw away our rights are thinking.
And I'll throw in a favorite Ben Franklin quote as my own comment on the parent post:
Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
The violation in this case would be of the Fourth Amendment, which basically forces the government to obtain a warrant before conducting most searches. Although courts have ruled that GPS tracking of cars is not covered by the Fourth Amendment, not all Americans share this view.
I don't agree that putting rights over security is selfish or short-sighted. The biggest threat to most people (especially Americans) comes from their own government. Without constant vigilance and assertion of rights, governments tend to act in their own best interests to the detriment of their people's interests. Law enforcement needs to be specially watched because it's much easier to search and arrest to get evidence (this is a violation of rights) than to get evidence first and then search and arrest (this is legal) and this is especially hurtful to liberty.
“We have all the information we needed,” they told him. “You don’t need to call your lawyer. Don’t worry, you’re boring. “
They shook his hand and left.
Yep, don't worry, no need to call a lawyer everything's cool. High five?
And that right there explains the entire story. He's being investigated because he's sending money into Egypt.
And even that is currently legal.
"He raised the suspicions of the FBI who investigated and found no crime. That's pretty much their entire job."
Statements like this evince a complete misunderstanding of the role of law enforcement in a democratic society.
The FBI's job is to respond to proper complaints of violations of the law, and to investigate where there are clear and articulable facts that lead them to believe a crime has occurred.
Their job is not to surveil the citizenry for signs of aberrant behavior.
So practically then you're saying most crime should just be allowed to happen as it can't be detected without taking a proactive approach.
For example, CCTV at a gas station shouldn't be installed until after the place is robbed.
I'm expecting the come back to be "Oh, but that's a private business, it's only bad if government do it?". Why is it bad if the government (ie the people working en masse) try to prevent harm to private citizens but not bad for individual or small groups of citizens?
Where any approach to law enforcement conflicts with the fundamental principles of ordered liberty, including privacy, that approach is improper. If we attached video cameras to all citizens that would prevent a lot of crime, but it would be a tremendous violation of privacy rights.
"Why is it bad if the government.. try to prevent harm to private citizens but not bad for individual or small groups of citizens?"
Because the government is unlike any other organization. It has a monopoly on the use of force. If a gas station uses CCTV cameras, and I feel that violates my privacy, I can choose not to use that gas station. If the government decides to enact a law mandating installation of CCTV cameras in your living room, you can't refuse.
Unless you live in a democracy.
>Because the government is unlike any other organization. It has a monopoly on the use of force.
In a democracy of course the government is the combined (in some way) will of the people. It bemuses me when people rail against "the government" and forget that means "the people's expressed (in some way) demands" in a democracy; I'm not saying that you're forgetting that part about democracy BTW.
AND Authorities investigate people in order to determine IF they are committing / have committed a crime. Being investigated and investigating is normal healthy part of our justice system. (btw, IMO warrantless surveillance is not)
In court, law enforcement is allowed to testify to whatever they "recall" during conversations with you. And you won't be able to challenge it whatsoever. You are testifying against yourself when you do this, even if you are 1000% innocent - they might "recall" differently. And then you are screwed.
Everything from "do you know how fast you were going" to something much more extreme like this case.
At least that's the bit that convinces me there's no good to be had in talking to law enforcement.
However, the prosecution, meaning the DA and his office, are required to disclose to you and your attorney anything that would support your innocence (known as exculpatory evidence).
I'm not a lawyer, so it's not clear to me how this interacts with the cop's role. As a witness, I guess he wouldn't have to offer anything. But as the guy who arrests you, I'd think that he's part of the "prosecution team", and thus would be covered by the rules of exculpatory evidence. Anybody know more than my supposition?
The gist of it is that he completely agrees with Professor James Duane that talking to the police always goes against your best interests, and goes on to discuss practical interview techniques that the police use to get suspects to talk.
“He’s a smart kid and is not affiliated with anything extreme and never says anything stupid like that,” Afifi said. “I’ve known that guy my whole life. “
The agents told Afifi they had other agents outside Khaled’s house.
“If you want us to call them off and not talk to him we can do that,” Afifi said they told him. “That was weird. [...] I didn’t really believe anything they were saying.”
When he later asked Khaled about the post, his friend recalled “writing something stupid,” but said he wasn’t involved in any wrongdoing. Khaled declined to discuss the issue with Wired.com.
So Afifi was completely wrong about Khaled, he did write a post, clearly views he was hiding (or Afifi would have guessed it to be true) and he wasn't prepared to answer for it to the press.
My leaning is with the spooks on this one - but we need more details to know anything substantial.
It amazes me that people are so negative about those who take on the task of covert civil protection.
I wonder what percentage of Digg/Reddit/Slashdot/HN readers have made at least one comment that could justify investigation? Keeping in mind that even a vague statement like "I wish someone would kill (x)" has been considered justification for some police departments to investigate the author. Probably a nice big percentage.
In limited circumstances I'd think that does call for investigation. Have you ever made a post like that, asking for someone to be killed? In what context?
If I was shopped for a inflammatory post suggesting terrorist activity and wished to win public support, eg to allow by supporters to riot and be supported by public opinion should I be detained. Then I'd whip down that post and put up something inane to point at and say what idiots the FBI are. (I'm not saying this is the case, just that there is very real doubt as to the true story).
Timeline on all this is presumably only attainable from the FBI and/or the accused.
If someone denies ownership of something, do they loose all rights to it? "Is that your $20? No? Ok, must be mine."
Furthermore, if you trespass upon someone's property and leave something that you feel is important ($20) while trespassing, can you demand it back?
Also proof of ownership is something I wonder about. Surely the FBI has serial numbers, but the person with the 'device' could deny them to enter their private property to inspect such. If i haven't done a crime, then you can't get a warrant to search my place for such a device.
Should i find such on my motorcycle, I'll simply attach it to the nearest 18-wheeler I find, or mail it around the country.
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.”
Could he have decided not to hand over the device immediately and ask for proof of ownership and ask to see a warrant or whatever-else is needed for the FBI to track him?
Feds telling him "you don't need a lawyer, you are boring" sounds a lot like they actually did something incriminating, he caught them and now they are worried about legal actions against them. This seems to fit with the threatening to get the device back - no device, no evidence, no case in court, government will deny knowledge.
When the feds or the police come knocking on your door, do you have the right to NOT let them inside without a warrant? Do you have the right not to answer any questions and immediately get legal help, thus creating legal documents which might serve as evidence later on?
Really, what rights and freedom do you people in the USA have against the "terrorism" witch hunt or do the feds practically have "carte blanche" now?