Yasir Afifi, 20, of Santa Clara, was born in the U.S. He is a fulltime college student, and he supports himself as a sales manager, selling laptops. For some reason, he is also a suspect. The half-Egyptian, half-American Muslim had taken his car in for an oil change when he found a GPS tracking device attached magnetically to the underside of his car. He removed it, and two days later, federal agents approached him as he left his apartment.
The agents asked him a barrage of questions. They wanted to know if he had ever been to Yemen for any kind of training, and if he knows anyone who posted questionable content on the internet. Afifi had some questions of his own. “Did you put the tracking device on my car?” The agents confirmed that they did.
According to the FBI, no warrant is needed to use GPS to track a vehicle in the public space, a ruling that was recently confirmed by a federal Court of Appeals. This isn’t good enough for Afifi, who argues that his civil rights were violated and that the ruling should be challenged. For the moment, Afifi is cooperating with the FBI, but he is also drawing attention to the fact that in the U.S. today, any car can be tracked with GPS technology, and no warrant is necessary to do that.
Read More at ABC 7.