Re: More about the tin-foil called "vehicle tracking"
At least the mechanic wasn't in jeopardy if he had left the modules alone.
About 20 years ago, during the "Miami Vice" drug lord era, I used to read some aviation maintenance newsletters. Aircraft that fly IFR or near large cities or airports with towers require transponders, which "Squawk" back a code on microwave when the aircraft is hit by radar. The code is issued by air traffic controllers, and dialed in by the pilots. They can also be turned off, or set to special codes such as "Mayday," "Hijack" or "VFR navigation."
Mechanics on the Gulf Coast were finding some aircraft with control yokes that were sticking. When they got under the instrument panel, they found black boxes spliced into the wiring harnesses and held up with zip ties. In the cases that popped up, the boxes were dragging on the moving parts of the flight controls. These black boxes were a second transponder with a pre-set code designed to show the position of the aircraft whenever the battery switch was on, regardless of the setting of the main transponder. Any twin-engine aircraft in the area might have gotten a black box, regardless of ownership or use.
An aviation mechanic has to sign off with his/her license number on any work, and certify that an aircraft is airworthy to return to flight. If they removed, tampered with, or told the owner that there was a black box, they could be arrested for interfering with a federal investigation. If they refused to sigh off on the aircraft, they would have to explain why it was unsafe. If they signed off on an aircraft knowing the flight controls were binding and unsafe, and there was an accident, they could face all kinds of deep doo-doo. Catch 22, indeed.
Someone said "Making good decisions comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions." I say there are three kinds of people: those who learn from their mistakes, those who learn from the mistakes of others, and those who never learn.