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FBI pose as Internet technicians to secure evidence on a hotel guest

The FBI wanted to get access to a hotel guest's room without a warrant, so they did the next best thing: posed as Internet technicians
By: Anthony Garreffa | Privacy & Rights News | Posted: Nov 28, 2014 5:25 am

The FBI stepped over its boundaries with this particular case, where the US agency wanted to gain entry into a particular hotel guest's room, all without a warrant. When they couldn't secure one, they did the next best thing: posed as Internet technicians, gaining access to the hotel room, all without a warrant.




From the motion to suppress, we find out: "The next time you call for assistance because the internet service in your home is not working, the "technician" who comes to your door may actually be an undercover government agent. He will have secretly disconnected the service, knowing that you will naturally call for help and -- when he shows up at your door, impersonating a technician -- let him in. He will walk through each room of your house, claiming to diagnose the problem. Actually, he will be videotaping everything (and everyone) inside. He will have no reason to suspect you have broken the law, much less probable cause to obtain a search warrant. But that makes no difference, because by letting him in, you will have "consented" to an intrusive search of your home".


The FBI agents secured evidence from the hotel room, and submitted it to a magistrate to get a warrant. Kind of the reverse of what should happen, but they obviously wouldn't have told the judge that they posed as the Internet technicians in order to get into the room to secure the evidence they required to obtain the warrant in the first place.


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