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Law Enforcement & Hacking: When Cops Control Your Webcam

In Archive, Hacking, Malware, Surveillance on February 26, 2014 at 4:29 PM




Without any public debate or explicit congressional authorization, US law enforcement agencies are now in the hacking business. Federal law enforcement agencies have acquired sophisticated tools which they can, and regularly do use to hack into the computers of targets, remotely enabling webcams, turning on microphones, and downloading documents and other files from the infected computers. Less sophisticated, off-the-shelf hacking and surveillance tools will inevitably be purchased by local and state law enforcement agencies, if they don’t already have them. 

The serious legal, policy and technology issues associated with use of such hacking tools is the focus of this two-panel conference at Yale Law School; Levinson Auditorium.

Moderator: Jennifer Valentino-Devries, The Wall Street Journal

Panel 1: The Hacking Technologies Used by Law Enforcement

Christopher Soghoian, Principal Technologist, ACLU
Related: Backdoors, Government Hacking, and the Next Crypto Wars – Christopher Soghoian @ 30c3

Matt Blaze, Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Axel Arnbak, Researcher, Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam
Related: 9 Problems of Government Hacking: Why IT-Systems Deserve Constitutional Protection

Panel 2: The Legal and Policy Implications of Hacking by Law Enforcement

Magistrate Judge Steve Smith
Related: Opinion – In re Warrant to Search a Target Computer at Premises Unknown – April 2013

Professor Laura Donahue, Georgetown University Law Center

Ahmed Ghappour, Clinical Instructor, The National Security Clinic, UT Law School

Stephanie Pell, Principal, SKP Strategies LLC

Justin Rood, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

@4m Hacking Team Video
@22m Gamma Video

Related Links:

To Protect and Infect: The Militarization of the Internet – Claudio Guarnieri, Morgan Marquis-Boire, Jacob Appelbaum @ 30c3

WikiLeaks: The Spy Files

Privacy International’s Surveillance Industry Index: 338 Vendors, 35 Countries, 1203 Documents, 97 Technologies

Project PM

Mapping Hacking Team’s “Untraceable” Spyware

“Network Investigative Techniques”: Court Documents Show How FBI Uses Malware for Surveillance

FBI’s “Wireless Intercept & Tracking Team” Revealed in Declassified Documents

Law Enforcement Using Methods From NSA Playbook

  1. […] their way, remove and substitute your hardware and software and enable intelligence collection by turning on your webcams and mice and shipping the data back to GCHQ at […]


  2. […] of—covertly upload files, photographs and stored e-mails to an FBI controlled server, use a computer’s camera or microphone to gather images and sound at any time the FBI chooses, or even take over computers […]


  3. […] Related: Backdoors, Government Hacking, and the Next Crypto Wars – Christopher Soghoian @ 30c3 Law Enforcement & Hacking: When Cops Control Your Webcam […]


  4. I’ve been a victom of cyber crimes with local law inforcement riverside county sheriffs


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