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Is The FBI The Most Notorious Hacker?

Is The FBI The Most Notorious Hacker?

File this one under (attempted) pre-trial indictment investigations. For anyone who wonders why a rule requiring police to get a valid search warrant before actually conducting the search is a good rule, look no further than Cyrus Farivar’s story with Ars Technica.

The FBI asked a federal magistrate judge for a search and seizure warrant granting them the authority to hack into someone’s computer. The software would’ve allowed FBI agents, among other things, to turn the computer’s webcam on.

And the judge said no.

Essentially, the grounds on which the FBI sought the warrant were overly broad. No one knew where the computer was actually located, for one thing, which did not satisfy the general rule that a given police search will be confined to a particular location. Nor did the FBI show that its hacking would not involve innocent computer users, or those who weren’t the subject of investigation.

Most troubling, perhaps, is what’s going on outside this particular case. Farivar reports that the same judge who said no to the FBI has also said that law enforcement authorities ask for – and apparently get – thousands of these kinds of surveillance warrants every year.
Source: FBI denied permission to spy on hacker through his webcam

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