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FBI’s search for ‘Mo,’ suspect in bomb threats, highlights use of malware for surveillance – The Washington Post January 9, 2014

Posted by sandyclaus in Computer Security, FBI, NSA, Security State.
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A federal magistrate in Denver approved sending surveillance software to Mo’s computer last year. Not all such requests are welcomed by the courts: An FBI plan to send surveillance software to a suspect in a different case — one that involved activating a suspect’s built-in computer camera — was rejected by a federal magistrate in Houston, who ruled that it was “extremely intrusive” and could violate the Fourth Amendment.

“You can’t just go on a fishing expedition,” said Laura K. Donohue, a Georgetown University law professor who reviewed three recent court rulings on FBI surveillance software, including one involving Mo. “There needs to be a nexus between the crime being alleged and the material to be seized. What they are doing here, though, is collecting everything.”

The FBI and Justice Department declined to comment on the case or the surveillance techniques used in pursuit of Mo.

But court documents related to the investigation, created when the FBI requested a search warrant before sending the surveillance software across the Internet to Mo, have offered a rare window into the bureau’s tools for tracking suspects through an online landscape replete with places to hide.

The case also shows the limits of the surveillance software, which have not yielded Mo’s arrest, and the legal complexities created when the location of a subject is unknown.

via FBI’s search for ‘Mo,’ suspect in bomb threats, highlights use of malware for surveillance – The Washington Post.

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