Search and Seizure asks: "This week, the local police contacted one of my co-workers and informed him that they had been contacted by the FBI who requested that they investigate his apartment. According to the police, while his apartment repair staff were checking his smoke alarm, they had noticed suspicious looking items in his kitchen and had called the FBI because they suspected that he might be a terrorist. What do you do when your landlord suspects that you might be a terrorist and reports you to the FBI?" If the law comes a-knocking, always remember that you can politely ask for a warrant."The police officer went on to explain that my co-worker had two choices:
1) Let the local police take a look and explain what the 'suspicious' items were for.
2) Don't let the local police in. The police will let the FBI know, and they will use 'Homeland Security' to come in and do a full search.
He opted for the less drastic choice, and showed the officer the digital camera guts, his in-progress circuitry to take automatic pictures, the tethered balloon that he was going to hook them up to so he could take overhead pictures, and the beer keg that he used to store his beer.
The police officer accepted his explanations and it appears to have turned out okay, but the whole situation is a little disturbing.
What rights do we have to experiment and create in this age of paranoia?"