Illegal Bug Sweps?

Forgive me, I am working from a tiny ‘netbook’ and am without my spool-chocker and other handy tools.

Over on Andrew Sullivan, I was reading about that crazy Sheiriff in Arizona. Some local city councilmen got worried about his antics and it seems they had (a private company? Who?) sweep their offices for electronic listening devices.

The deputies have since been ‘grilling’ them about this sweep for bugs, saying it was illegal. How could that be? Certainly I have a right to inspect my own home and whatnot for listening devices.

I don’t have a complete answer, but there’s a world of difference between home and office when it comes to privacy rights.

If they have a warrant to plant a listening device, the device is placed there legally.

I don’t think there is anything illegal about looking for such devices, but actually removing one might be legally problematic.

:confused: If I find a listening device, is there paperwork attached that shows it to be legally placed?

If the police planted a listening device, and you find it, they’d be very, very happy if you removed it, because that indicates to them that you did indeed find it. Far smarter on your part to leave it there but only have innocent conversations in its presence, or even better, send the police on wild goose chases while you perform your questionable activity elsewhere.

At least they’re not worried aboutlaser beams…

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department is not exactly known for its ethics or adherence to professional standards.

Or better yet, use that room to call up your buddy and ask him what you should do if you saw child pornography on the sheriff’s laptop…

If they have a warrant, they certainly have not shown it to you and so, if you find a bug you have no way of knowing it is illegal and I fail to see how they could claim its removal is illegal. If they try to grill you, you should simply roast them.

The council members have spent $14,600 of public money to sweep for the bugs, with no apparent authority to do so. I gather that’s at the root of the complaint.

If the city budget has line item “security” and a person with signing authority (mayor?) agrees it fit in the line item, then the money is legally spent. For money to be spent “with no authority” it must not be in the budget or a special appropriation motion, if they follow the standard rules.