June 23, 2016 · Hacking Mentions Law Enforcement

Blogs of Law: United States v. Matish

I’ve found mentions of my work in the strangest places but this has to be one of the strangest. A federal judge has ruled that the FBI can gain access to a suspect’s computer without a warrant and he has citied one of my blog posts in support:

Tor users likewise cannot reasonably expect to be safe from hackers. Even if Tor users hope that the Tor network will keep certain information private -just as terrorists seem to expect Apple to keep their data private – it is unreasonable not to expect that someone will be able to gain access. See John W. Little, Tor and the Illusion of Anonymity, BLOGS OF War (August 6,
2013), http://blogsofwar.com/tor-and-the-illusion-of-anonymity/ (describing that the Federal Government discovered a way “to identify the true IP addresses [of] an unknown number to Tor users” and noting that this development “should serve as a huge wake-up call” to people who believe that using Tor endows them with unassailable privacy protections). Notwithstanding the identification difficulties posed by  or and the machinations one must undergo to access a Tor hidden service, advances in technology continue to thwart Tor’s measures.”
“Thus, hacking resembles the broken blinds in Carter. 525 U.S. at 85. Just as Justice Breyer wrote in concurrence that a police officer  who peers through broken blinds does not violate anyone’s Fourth Amendment rights, jd. at 103 (Breyer, J., concurring), FBI agents who exploit a vulnerability in an online network do not violate the Fourth Amendment.”

Now I thought the post was decent and it was pretty widely circulated in security circles but I didn’t think much about it to be honest. I certainly didn’t expect it find it’s way into a significant federal case.


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