There's no need to signal, the small-town joke goes, because everyone knows where you're going. We're learning you need to be less concerned about nosy Aunt Margaret than Uncle Sam.
Mind you, what follows aren't the rants of a government conspiracy junkie, the kind that wears a tinfoil hat and is paranoid that clouds are following him. From Wired, we bring you the case of "Greg," your average 25-year-old from San Jose, California.
Almost a month ago, he found a tracking device on his Volvo SUV. For his sake, it was probably good forethought to contact Wired and allow it to be photographed. It was summarily retrieved and replaced with another. While the unknown parties were at it, they were spotted tinkering with Greg's girlfriend's car as well.
The practice itself should not come as a total surprise. Just as Hollywood has depicted it for decades, the Justice Department has admitted using GPS. But there was nothing scripted when police dropped in on Greg's interview with Wired.
Three squads reportedly showed to discourage interview and photo activity. The photo shoot was moved a mile from its original spot. Still, a police cruiser dropped by and parked facing Greg's SUV. The uniformed officer and plainclothes party left a short time before Wired finished shooting pictures.
It's nothing new for the Justice Department and various law enforcement agencies to use these devices, just not so often without good reason. All Greg can reckon is that the feds are interested in his previous-owner cousin, who allegedly, shall we say, majored in entrepreneurial pharmaceutical marketing before fleeing to Mexico.
Meanwhile, Greg, the vehicle and his girlfriend are clean; but it seems to be inconsequential to the authorities.