Can You Hear Me Now? Federal Agents Caught Planting Warrantless Microphones Throught City
When you're walking down the sidewalk with your friends, you're probably not thinking about censoring what you're saying that much. The sidewalk is a public place. You're a private citizen. What you say there should be your business and yours alone, right?
You might think so, but news has come out that FBI agents n planting microphones around the San Francisco Bay area from March 2010 to January 2011. The microphones were hid inside outdoor lights and around a bus stop but the federal government didn't stop there.
According to Jeff Harp, a former FBI agent, the FBI is very proficient at hiding microphones wherever and however they like.
"They put microphones under rocks, they put microphones in trees, they plant microphones in equipment. I mean, there’s microphones that are planted in places that people don’t think about," Harp said.
The purpose behind the FBI's microphones was to record conversations between real estate investors and to prove that those investors were guilty of fraud.
Unfortunately the FBI is having trouble getting the recordings admitted as court evidence to put those real estate investors behind bars.
This issue is an interesting one. The facts may point to the fraud of these real estate investors, but is it really inside the FBI's purview to plant microphones in public places and record conversations that they can then use as evidence?
There is an inherent sense of privacy involved in any conversations that take place in any setting. That's why the government needs warrants. It's in our laws--you need a warrant.
Even though the FBI is acting from a perfectly legitimate point of view--they're trying to catch real estate crooks--the facts remain that planting microphones in public places--without warrants. That's not only illegal, it's distasteful and disgusting.
It's time to stop FBI. Let's catch these guys without removing every shred of privacy that remains in America.
h/t: CBS San Francisco