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AirTag: authorities hijack Apple tracker to arrest drug maker
A new report indicates that the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) used an AirTag for surveillance purposes in the context of drug operations last year, which would be the first case of use of the tracer by a federal agency.
Last year, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency allegedly used an AirTag to track illegal drug manufacturing equipment sent from China to a narcotics manufacturer in the United Statesaccording to a search warrant that our colleagues at Forbes were able to examine.
According to the report, in May 2022, border agents seized two packages from Shanghai, China. One contained a pill press, a machine used to compress materials into tablets, and the other contained pill dyes. In an attempt to find out where the package was going to be sent, the agents appealed to the DEA, which simply decided to hide an AirTag inside the pill press to track the movement of the package.
Also read – He loses his suitcase at the airport, his AirTag travels to Portugal in his place
An AirTag is used by the authorities to dismantle a drug trade
In the search warrant, an officer said that ” precise information on the location of the [presse-pilules] allow investigators to obtain evidence of where these individuals store drugs and/or drug products, where they obtain controlled substances and where they distribute them “. However, it is unclear why the authorities decided to use an AirTag rather than a professional tracker.
According to a former agent for the service, who spoke to Forbes, the DEA may have used an AirTag because it offers more reliable connectivity than other devicesor due to past failures of devices of this type available to the police.
Not sure that Apple really appreciates the police using its device in this way. The American giant had recently deployed an update that made it possible to better identify unknown AirTags around you, to fight against snitches. It also sometimes happens that it is the police themselves who are tracked down, since New York police officers had found the tracker under their car at the beginning of the year.