Mar 032011
 March 3, 2011  Posted by  Court, Surveillance

Back in October, when a target of FBI surveillance went public with his story of his mechanic finding a GPS device on his car, I commented that there should be a storm brewing over FBI surveillance.

Well, it’s not exactly a storm, but Nedra Pickler of Associated Press reports that Yasir Afifi has filed a lawsuit this week against the FBI over the surveillance:

Afifi’s lawsuit, filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, claims the FBI violated his civil rights by putting the device on his car without a warrant. His lawyers say Afifi, who was born in the United States, was targeted because of his extensive ties to the Middle East – he travels there frequently, helps support two brothers who live in Egypt, and his father was a well-known Islamic-American community leader who died last year in Egypt.

FBI Spokesman Michael Kortan declined to discuss the lawsuit or the agency’s investigation into Afifi, but said, “The FBI conducts investigations under well-established Department of Justice and FBI guidelines that determine what investigative steps or techniques are appropriate. Those guidelines also ensure the protection of civil and constitutional rights.”

As I noted at the time, under the Ninth Circuit’s rulings,  a warrant for the GPS may not have been required – even though I think they should have been required to get one.  This is another case to add to my “watch” list.

Read more in The Age.

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