The GPS Tracker the FBI Uses to Surveil Targets

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Kim Zetter at Wired's Threat Level reports an important and fascinating story today about Kathy Thomas, an environmental and animal rights' activist, who the FBI tracked with a GPS device. Thomas found the tracker under her car after she noticed that agents had stopped following her around.

Thomas gave Wired the device, who handed it off to iFixit for the "first-ever dissection of an FBI tracker." You can watch a video of the process above.

The Constitutionality of such surveillance is in question, as Zetter notes, but it's clear that law enforcement officials aren't waiting for a high court ruling to use the technology.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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