In a dangerously flawed decision unsealed today, a federal district court in Virginia ruled that a criminal defendant has no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in his personal computer, located inside his home. According to the court, the federal government does not need a warrant to hack into an individual’s computer.
This decision is the latest in, and perhaps the culmination of, a series of troubling decisions in prosecutions stemming from the FBI’s investigation of Playpen—a Tor hidden services site hosting child pornography. The FBI seized the server hosting the site in 2014, but continued to operate the site and serve malware to thousands of visitors that logged into the site. The malware located certain identifying information (e.g., MAC address, operating system, the computer’s “Host name”; etc) on the attacked computer and sent that information back to the FBI. There are hundreds of prosecutions, pending across the country, stemming from this investigation. Continue reading »
Daniel Willis cleared of murder charges in the 2014 death of Yvette Smith by visiting judge who chose jurors in Sandra Bland case
A former Texas police deputy on trial for killing an unarmed woman without warning immediately after she opened the front door of a friend’s house was found not guilty on Thursday.
Daniel Willis was cleared of murder by visiting district judge Albert McCaig during a retrial 30 miles east of Austin. Continue reading »