Jeff Harp, a former FBI special agent and security analyst for KPIX 5 in San Francisco, recently told KPIX 5 News that FBI agents regularly hide microphones in indiscriminate locations for surveillance purposes. Harp says that between March 2010 and January 2011, FBI agents hid microphones inside light fixtures and at a bus stop outside the Oakland Courthouse without a warrant to record conversations. The FBI is reportedly attempting to catch real estate investors involved in fraud.
“They put microphones under rocks, they put microphones in trees, they plant microphones in equipment”, Harp said. “I mean, there’s microphones that are planted in places that people don’t think about, because that’s the intent!”
As Harp pointed out, “An agent can’t just go out and grab a recording device and plant it somewhere without authorization from a supervisor or special agent in charge.” The decision to plant microphones had to come from high-ranking authorities with the bureau.