In a sting operation conducted by the FBI in 2015, over 8,000 IP addresses in 120 countries were collected in an effort to take down the website Playpen and its users. Playpen was a communal website that operates on the Dark Web through the Tor browser. Essentially, the site was used to collect images related to child pornography and extreme child abuse. At its peak, Playpen had a community of around 215,000 members and more than 117,000 posts, with 11,000 unique visitors a week.
Continue reading “Law Enforcement Surveillance and the Protection of Civil Liberties”
At 3:35am on March 4, President Donald Trump tweeted an accusation that former President Barack Obama wiretapped the phones in Trump Tower prior to the election. Trump compared it to Watergate and called Obama “sick.” A spokesperson for Obama quickly and strongly denied the allegations, stating that “neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen.” FBI Director James Comey asked the Justice Department to immediately reject the president’s allegations on the grounds that it falsely implies that the FBI broke the law.
Continue reading “Making Sense of Trump’s Wiretapping Accusations”
On Thursday, April 28, 2016, the Supreme Court heard a proposal to amend Rule 41 of the Federal Criminal Procedure, which details the circumstances under which a warrant may be issued for search and seizure. The proposal asks to extend the parameters of search warrants to include “access to computer located in any jurisdiction,” according to a Huffington Post article written Thursday.
Continue reading “FBI and Its Hacking Power”
A few months ago, the San Bernardino Shooting, the deadliest terror attack on American soil since 9/11, took place when Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik burst into an office party at Farook’s job, armed with semi-automatic weapons and dressed in black ski masks and tactical gear. Sixty-five to seventy bullets ripped through the crowd, seriously injuring 22 civilians and leaving 14 dead. Before being killed in a shootout with the police, the couple posted a message to Facebook pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. In the suspects’ destroyed car, investigators found an iPhone belonging to Farook. The battle between the FBI and Apple over the decryption of this device has brought this incident back into the news.
Continue reading “Apple and the iPolice”
Your birthday, a pet’s name, or the nostalgia of a high school sports number; the composition of our iPhone password can seem so simple. But a recent case levied by the FBI against Apple has led to a conflict over the integrity of these passwords and sparked debate concerning privacy and security. A California court ordered Apple to produce a feature that would circumvent software preventing the FBI from accessing the phone of Syed Farook, who, along with his wife, committed the San Bernardino terrorist attacks. The couple died in a shootout following their heinous assault, and their electronics were seized by the FBI. They had smashed their cell phones and tampered with their laptop hard drive, but Farook’s work phone, an iPhone 5c, was found undamaged in his car.
Continue reading “Forbidden Fruit: Apple, the FBI and Institutional Ethics”