Student finds tracking device on his car; FBI demands it back

From Raw Story:

A Silicon Valley college student says the FBI confronted him and threatened to “make things difficult” for him if he didn’t hand over a GPS tracking device he found on his car, says a report at

Yasir Afifi, a 20-year-old marketing student at Mission College who is partially of Egyptian extraction, said he found the device last Sunday when he took his car to a mechanic, and saw wires sticking out of the underside, near the exhaust pipe.

He told Wired he had “done nothing to merit attention from authorities.”

A friend of Afifi’s, identified only as Khaled, posted pictures of the device to, where a user quickly identified it as a Guardian ST820 tracking unit, manufactured by Cobham, which, according to Wired, only sells the device to law enforcement agencies.

As Afifi and Khaled pondered a number of plans for the device — including selling it on Craigslist or attaching it to another car — the FBI showed up, admitted it had planted the device, and demanded it back, Afifi told Wired.

Here is the reddit post with pictures of the device. (Holy crap, I was expecting something a bit smaller)

Bruce Schneier on this incident: