Mueller de­scribes GPS prob­lem from court rul­ing

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics -

A re­cent Supreme Court rul­ing is forc­ing the FBI to de­ac­ti­vate its GPS track­ing de­vices in some in­ves­ti­ga­tions, agency di­rec­tor Robert S. Mueller said Wed­nes­day.

Mr. Mueller told a con­gres­sional panel that the bureau has turned off a sub­stan­tial num­ber of GPS units and is us­ing sur­veil­lance by agents in­stead.

“Putting a phys­i­cal sur­veil­lance team out with six, eight, 12 per­sons is tremen­dously time in­ten­sive,” Mr. Mueller told a House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions sub­com­mit­tee. The court rul­ing “will in­hibit our abil­ity to use this in a num­ber of surveil­lances where it has been tremen­dously ben­e­fi­cial.”

In Jan­uary, the Supreme Court unan­i­mously agreed to bar po­lice from installing GPS tech­nol­ogy to track sus­pects with­out first get­ting a judge’s ap­proval.

“We have a num­ber of peo­ple in the United States [whom] we could not in­dict, there’s not prob­a­ble cause to in­dict them or to ar­rest them, who present a threat of ter­ror­ism, ar­tic­u­lated maybe up on the In­ter­net, may have pur­chased a gun, but taken no par­tic­u­lar steps to take a ter­ror­ist act,” Mr. Mueller said. “And we are stuck in the po­si­tion of surveilling that per­son for a sub­stan­tial pe­riod of time.”

GPS track­ers “en­abled us to uti­lize re­sources else­where,” the FBI di­rec­tor added.

Mr. Mueller said the FBI will com­ply with the court decision and will make cer­tain that what­ever test is adopted ul­ti­mately, the bureau will ad­here to that in terms of us­ing GPS.

In a Tues­day Metro story “‘Ker­fuf­fle’ puts D.C. bud­get pro­cesses in ques­tion,” The Washington Times misiden­ti­fied the of­fice of D.C. Coun­cil sources who spoke anony­mously be­cause they were not au­tho­rized to speak on the record. The sources work in the coun­cil’s bud­get of­fice.

The pro­posed Com­mon­wealth Pipe­line at its max­i­mum ca­pac­ity would be able to trans­port 780 mil­lion cu­bic feet of nat­u­ral gas each day, and the United States uses about 2 tril­lion cu­bic feet of nat­u­ral gas ev­ery month, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. En­ergy In­for­ma­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion. The fig­ures were mis­stated in a story about the pipe­line on Tues­day’s Econ­omy page.

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