FBI USED ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE TO SNOOP

"An appeals court this week put the brakes on an FBI surveillance technique that turns an automobile driver's on-board vehicle navigation system into a covert eavesdropping device," according to SecurityFocus."The case arose from a 2001 FBI surveillance operation in Las Vegas, in which agents obtained a court order compelling a telematics company to secretly activate the stolen vehicle recovery feature in a customer's car. The feature, designed to listen-in on car thieves as they cruise around in a stolen auto, turns on a dashboard microphone and pipes conversations out over a cellphone connection -- normally to the company's response center, but in this case to an FBI listening post. "THERE'S MORE: Congress yesterday gave the FBI "greater authority to demand records from businesses in terrorism cases without the approval of a judge or a grand jury," the Times reports. "While banks, credit unions and other financial institutions are currently subject to such demands, the measure expands the list to include car dealers, pawnbrokers, travel agents, casinos and other businesses."AND MORE: The New York Police Department yesterday became the first group of local cops to have access to Interpol's 80-country criminal database.

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