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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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August 5, 2013 - 1:16 pm

The FBI is the prime suspect in a new malware scheme.

Security researchers tonight are poring over a piece of malicious software that takes advantage of a Firefox security vulnerability to identify some users of the privacy-protecting Tor anonymity network.

The malware showed up Sunday morning on multiple websites hosted by the anonymous hosting company Freedom Hosting. That would normally be considered a blatantly criminal “drive-by” hack attack, but nobody’s calling in the FBI this time. The FBI is the prime suspect.

“It just sends identifying information to some IP in Reston, Virginia,” says reverse-engineer Vlad Tsyrklevich. “It’s pretty clear that it’s FBI or it’s some other law enforcement agency that’s U.S.-based.”

If Tsrklevich and other researchers are right, the code is likely the first sample captured in the wild of the FBI’s “computer and internet protocol address verifier,” or CIPAV, the law enforcement spyware first reported by WIRED in 2007.

The Drug Enforcement Agency has been using illegal wiretaps to build cases against drug dealers.

(Reuters) – A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin – not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.

The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don’t know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence – information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.

“I have never heard of anything like this at all,” said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011. Gertner and other legal experts said the program sounds more troubling than recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been collecting domestic phone records. The NSA effort is geared toward stopping terrorists; the DEA program targets common criminals, primarily drug dealers.

“It is one thing to create special rules for national security,” Gertner said. “Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations.”

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (3)
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Sounds like dirty politicians could trump up charges against political opponents....eh, Vlad? By extrapolation, local agencies could also frame any citizen that p!sses them off.....yep Gridley, I agree - police state. My, my, my....what will it come to....when is enough, enough?

Remember BENGHAZI!
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
So let me see if I have this right. 1) the NSA scoops-up all of the "metadata" phone records in the USA, and has done so for at least six years; 2) NSA makes available to DEA/FBI/etc whatever they believe to be "of interest" to those agencies as possible criminal activities; and, 3) the "beneficiary" agencies then begin operations against the "interesting" parties without benefit of any legal oversight whatsoever. Some other sources are also reporting that NSA, with a couple of key clicks, can retrieve the conversations that were spotted by the "metadata." If that is true there is no longer any privacy in any communication anywhere.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Doesn't surprise me. When there is no rule of law, government agents will feel free to do whatever they please.

That, BTW, is the definition of a police state.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
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