Creating and distributing child pornography are two things that most people seem to agree should be ruthlessly pursued by law enforcers. Law enforcers, on the other hand, don’t agree. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) would rather toss out a child pornography case than reveal one stupid browser exploit:
A judge has thrown out evidence obtained by the FBI via hacking, after the agency refused to provide the full code it used in the hack.
The decision is a symptom of the FBI using investigative techniques that are usually reserved for intelligence agencies, such as the NSA. When those same techniques are used in criminal cases, they have to stack up against the rights of defendants and are subject to court processes.
The evidence that was thrown out includes child pornography allegedly found on devices belonging to Jay Michaud, a Vancouver public schools worker.
Why did the FBI even bring the case Michaud if it wasn’t willing to reveal the exploit that the defense was guaranteed to demand technical information about?
This isn’t the first case the FBI has allowed to be thrown out due to the agency’s desperate desire to keep an exploit secret. In allowing these cases to be thrown out the FBI has told the country that it isn’t serious about pursuing these crimes and that it would rather all of us remain at the mercy of malicious hackers than reveal the exploits it, and almost certain they, rely on.
I guess the only crimes the FBI actually cares to fight are the ones it creates.