In a recurring feature in this newsletter, I publish stories and court documents that you won't have seen anywhere else, ones that provide a mix of strange true crime and real world surveillance. I call it The Wire IRL.
How much does your car know about you? For anyone that has any kind of onboard connectivity (read: most cars made in the last decade, at the very least), it knows a lot about where you've been and how you've been driving.
Police and the feds know that too. That's why when they investigate a crime, they sometimes try to raid the data held by car manufacturers and those companies that make the connected systems, as I reported in an exclusive on Forbes last week.
Various search warrants show that GM OnStar, Geotab and Spireon have all been called upon to provide location data to the Homeland Security Investigations team of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Collectively, those companies track tens of millions of vehicles, so they have a substantial amount of information the feds can try to get with a valid warrant.
This comes with some privacy concerns. As one source told me: "As more and more devices collect extensive data on our behaviors, often for purposes that improve our everyday lives, we need to make sure that law enforcement agencies do not see the mere availability of data as a free pass to access it as they see fit."
You can read all the search warrants here, here and here for the government's side of the story.
If you have any tips on government surveillance or cybercrime, drop me an email on email@example.com or message me on Signal at +447782376697.