Large-Scale FBI Hacking

As part of a child pornography investigation, the FBI hacked into over 1,300 computers.

But after Playpen was seized, it wasn't immediately closed down, unlike previous dark web sites that have been shuttered" by law enforcement. Instead, the FBI ran Playpen from its own servers in Newington, Virginia, from February 20 to March 4, reads a complaint filed against a defendant in Utah. During this time, the FBI deployed what is known as a network investigative technique (NIT), the agency's term for a hacking tool.

While Playpen was being run out of a server in Virginia, and the hacking tool was infecting targets, "approximately 1300 true internet protocol (IP) addresses were identified during this time," according to the same complaint.

The FBI seems to have obtained a single warrant, but it's hard to believe that a legal warrant could allow the police to hack 1,300 different computers. We do know that the FBI is very vague about the extent of its operations in warrant applications. And surely we need actual public debate about this sort of technique.

Also, "Playpen" is a super-creepy name for a child porn site. I feel icky just typing it.

Posted on February 9, 2016 at 6:25 AM • 59 Comments

Comments

M@February 9, 2016 7:56 AM

While the near-warrantless hacking of 1300 presumably-American computers seems pretty unwarranted (punny, I know), keeping a trap site running and trolling for [ab]users seems legit.

CamiloFebruary 9, 2016 8:14 AM

@ M@: While you might think it "seems legit", the "seems legit" dos not constitute a formal or specific criteria, let alone a legal rationale. Nor should it.
The vagueness of what "seems legit" is precisely what Bruce is pointing to as what requires transparency and oversight, and the fact that any of us gets creeped out by pedophiles and the mere spelling of the name of a website like this, shouldn't stop us from thinking and reviewing any action taken out of mere disgust or contempt.

caseyFebruary 9, 2016 8:24 AM

What happened to the remaining 60000 users-- did the FBI serve the materials in good faith to the paying members? There must also be a way to ensure that all 1300 collected IPs got the same justice. For example, if any of the IPs belonged to FBI agents family members, the same process must be applied. I am less bothered by the fact that 1300 events were addressed with one document than I am about the secrecy in the next steps taken.

65535February 9, 2016 8:25 AM

Child pornography is certainly a vile crime.

But, I really don’t like the idea that the FBI hosted said child pornography videos and vile images on their own servers for some time – increasing the number Child Porn views or hits [and arrests]. I also don’t like the idea of a judge signing a warrant for mass groups of unknown individual which allowed a hacking of said individual’s computers.

What will be next? Will the FBI takeover a 'Silk Road' style drug site and continue to sell drugs from the FBI’s headquarters? Will the FBI again use a bulk warrant to hack individual’s computers to boost their drug arrest stats? That would be bad policy.

I believe Clive mentioned a similar type of Child Porn sting in the UK that really did not work out well [Clive can give us the details on that one].

MarkFebruary 9, 2016 10:03 AM

So if the government runs such sites it's legal? That doesn't sit well with me. I know that they want to catch people, but they're helping people download (and hence distribute) horrific material.

Yet more of Americans attempting to re-write the English language. What are these bullshit "network investigative techniques"? The term isn't even close to what it means.

And a single warrant?

Cyberpocalypse HorseFebruary 9, 2016 10:08 AM

On its face this appears to be a general warrant. Seems the FBI got ansy and decided to skip a few steps. They should have collected the logins and locations, as they did, then proceeded to get warrants(1,300) of them for the offenders, not rely on the single warrant for all 1,300 offenders, after they obtained the needed pii.

Malleus VeritasFebruary 9, 2016 10:12 AM

There is a line between a sting and entrapment, and this is awfully close to the line, if not over it.

We have laws against entrapment for a reason. We prohibit general search warrants for a reason. And that reason is the potential for abuse. Our founding fathers knew all too well the dangers of unrestrained executive powers. We forget their lessons at our own peril.

The police are a necessary watchdog for our society. But we must never forget that dog is a vicious animal that can turn on it's master in a second, and it needs to be leashed and muzzled so that it doesn't wind up doin more harm than good.

Nicholas WeaverFebruary 9, 2016 10:38 AM

To defend the FBI here for a minute.

I, as a technology savvy person who probably understands what is going on as well or better than the FBI agent writing the warrant application, if I was the judge, I would sign this warrant with the possible addition of "staple the user database to the back", since every single user meets a probable cause criteria, plus there is also a corresponding wiretap order on the site, and this is how you get the necessary information for a proper wiretap: the identity of the other communicating party.

Additionally, the NIT used is remarkably non-intrusive. Although it does have to exploit the target's browser, it doesn't just do an arbitrary search but instead only provides sufficient information to identify the computer and user. Thus although the search does touch a lot of computers, it doesn't search a lot of data on each computer.

Finally, its not like the FBI can use this trick arbitrarily: Although this was before Tor got really agressive on auto-updates, now it pretty much takes a zero-day to pull off, and every time you use an 0-day you risk it no longer being valuable. So the FBI is not going to use this technique very often, but only in very limited contexts (such as child porn on Tor) where the risk/reward is sufficiently high.

VoglinFebruary 9, 2016 10:38 AM

Equality-Under-the-Law is the issue here -- everyone in the U.S. should be equal before the law, including all government employees... especially law enforcement personnel.

If operating a child porn website is illegal, then it is also illegal for persons carrying an FBI badge. "Sting" operations with police performing illegal activities should be totally banned & prosecuted wherever they are found.

If something is illegal for an ordinary citizen to do -- then it MUST also be illegal for a government person to do. Otherwise, you have established a privileged class of citizens above the law (unequal) -- and lost the fundamental rule of law in a society.

Of course that's exactly the current American situation -- government law enforcement persons are explicitly & de facto exempt from many laws that are vigorously enforced against everyone else.
Tyranny is the political term for it.

BFebruary 9, 2016 10:46 AM

What Nicholas Weaver said. Also, with respect to the question about "60000" users - as I understand it it was not simply logging into the site that caused your computer to be infected. You had to first log in to the web site (with a name so creepy I won't type it) and then click on the picture of an underage kid to access the CP downloads. In fact one issue raised by a defendant was that the picture you clicked on went from "actual CP" to just "super creepy picture of a child about to be abused." The judge was unmoved.
Also, entrapment: you keep using that word, i do not think it means what you think it means. "Entrapment is a practice whereby a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit." By allowing the server to run the FBI certainly was complicit in the distribution of CP but they hardly entrapped anyone. The users already had accounts, logged in, and click download. All the FBI did was keep the lights on and keep track of the people who downloaded CP.

samFebruary 9, 2016 10:53 AM

@Voglin

> If something is illegal for an ordinary citizen to do -- then it MUST also be illegal for a government person to do. Otherwise, you have established a privileged class of citizens above the law (unequal) -- and lost the fundamental rule of law in a society.

Yes, we need to reign in abuse of power in law enforcement. But no, your general statement is farce. You'd have ambulances unable to get to emergencies because ordinary citizens aren't allowed to run red traffic lights. You'd have police unable to use force *of any kind* because for a regular person that'd be assault.


The problem isn't that the FED left the site running - it'd then be a pretty standard move to get warrants for the 1,300 connecting IPs - TOR and VPNs and proxies aside - the issue is that they deployed NIT.

Anonymous CowFebruary 9, 2016 10:59 AM

...only provides sufficient information to identify the computer and user...

Computer yes. User not always assured; a computer set up with one account could have more than one user. And if the IP or MAC address belongs to a gateway or router and not a PC or other device then identifying the user gets trickier. Did the FBI hacks include activating any attached camera to snapshot the user? Or any attached microphone to record and voiceprint the user?

Mission CreepFebruary 9, 2016 11:12 AM

What have we learned?

1. "One warrant to rule them all". Expect that under DOJ lead that this behaviour is/will become the norm. The days of specific warrants are over - fitting the new Police state model.

2. Feds will happily host kiddy porn material - facilitating a disgusting crime no less - to get their bad guys. The ends justifies the means kind of stuff you have come to expect from cowboy cops in Hollywood movies.

3. The Internet is one big honeypot and all is fair game under the new model. The surveillance state demands no limits on their behaviour, thus, laws will be adjusted to fit the new paradigm they seek.

4. When it all goes bad, and it will, the untouchables will regularly start planting material on the computers of people they don't like - framing them with impunity. It is a piece of cake for these guys to manufacture IP/MAC addresses and accounts that marry up with targets they intend to take down.

5. Judges will sign off on anything and remain clueless to the implications due to their lack of technological know how. Like secret courts, Judges will continue to rubber stamp anything and refuse to comment after the fact. This probably stems from dirt files they have been handed in the recent times to remind them of their patriotic duties, much like the scum-bag politicians who just can't wait to sign off on any new Stasi laws with gusto. This is not a coincidence.

6. If the feds will host kiddy porn for weeks and infect 1000s of computers at a time, then paralell construction is also highly likely to be par for the course, especially since proving it is nigh on impossible.

The Internet and government institutions are all broken beyond repair. Nobody is answerable to the people anymore - perhaps they never were. The disordered thinking of the intelligence appartus reminds me of that guy out of Enemy of the State:

Thomas Reynolds: We never dealt with domestic. With us, it was always war. We won the war. Now we're fighting the peace. It's a lot more volatile. Now we've got ten million crackpots out there with sniper scopes, sarin gas and C-4. Ten-year-olds go on the Net, downloading encryption we can barely break, not to mention instructions on how to make a low-yield nuclear device. Privacy's been dead for years because we can't risk it. The only privacy that's left is the inside of your head. Maybe that's enough. You think we're the enemy of democracy, you and I? I think we're democracy's last hope.

DanielFebruary 9, 2016 11:17 AM

First, I think that what happened here legally is a old fashioned "general warrant" which is illegal. Nick Weaver tries to solve this problem by saying he would staple the database of users onto the back of the warrant but that doesn't actually solve the problem because the 4A requires a particularity analysis not only in regards to what (the IP address) but also in regards to who. I realize that this is an area where people can and do disagree but I object to it for the same reason I object to red light cameras. It is abusing the innocent in order to capture the guilty.

Second, I object to the general principle that the people responsible for upholding the law can break the law in the process. I call this the "Freeh doctrine" because former FBI director Freeh was most adamant about its morality. It's bullshit. For one, it creates a real "who shall guard the guardians" problem that we have consistently seen out of DC, with those guardians abusing their power whether that be spying on Congress (the CIA) or FBI people looking up data on their spouses to get ammunition for a divorce. Second, it creates an entitlement mentality that is scary. Police shoot people and then take the 5A in case they get charged with murder. So it becomes next to impossible to hold them accountable for their actions.

The FBI engaged in the knowing distribution of child pornography. The distribution of child pornography is illegal. So the FBI broke the law. When the legal authorities can break the law and not be held accountable their authority does not rest on morality but brute force. Might makes right--it's not illegal when they do it.

{ continue; }February 9, 2016 11:19 AM

@65535
Read about operation "Fast and Furious" gunrunning by agencies including the FBI that deliberately placed weapons into the hands of Mexican Cartel, ostensibly to penetrate the organizations. Agents screamed don't do this. They did it anyway. It was only a matter of time before one of our own was gunned down by one of the weapons. Many cynical now believe the intention was ultimately to create a link between gun sales in the US with violence in Mexico. They believe there is a lot of other evidence to support their assertion the WH would do anything to control guns in the US. In other words, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

{ continue; }February 9, 2016 11:40 AM

Agent 1: "..just doing my job. All I did was put a round in the chamber."

Agent 2: "..just doing my job. All I did was position the barrel."

Agent 3: "..just doing my job. All I did was pull the little bitty trigger thing."


I am reflecting on Attkisson's description of how well the gov't controls employees by merely hinting that their retirement benefits are at stake. I think that is how the Communists controlled the Church in Soviet Russia - they put the priests on a stipend. And that is how politicians win elections, if they can succeed in frightening the retired into believing their opponent intends to cut their Social Security benefits.

VoglinFebruary 9, 2016 11:47 AM

@SAM

... it's generally lawful for ordinary citizens to use force in defense against direct violence against persons/property -- so too for police, under the same legal rules as citizens face.

If ambulances/cops/firemen can run red-lights under 'emergency conditions' -- then ordinary citizens should have the same legal waiver for 'emergency conditions'. All should face the same legal/judicial risk of any false use of the "emergency conditions' waiver.
It is fundamentally wrong to have different traffic laws for different persons.

If the FBI agents permitted the illegal porn site to continue operation when the FBI had direct control of it -- then they were an accomplices.. that is a direct violation of the law and dereliction of duty.

AnuraFebruary 9, 2016 12:29 PM

@Voglin

I agree, if government employees driving emergency vehicles that have flashing lights and sirens are allowed to run red lights, civilians driving emergency vehicles that have flashing lights and sirens should be allowed to run red lights.

Peter A.February 9, 2016 12:50 PM

@B: "Entrapment is a practice whereby a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit."

This may be the legal definition somewhere; but in my opinion it is not exhaustive nor it is the only action that should be prohibited (and severely punished). "Fishing expedition" is another action that can be considered entrapment.

Let's do it the other way: try to define what is allowed, because that's the normal way of defining what government or its agents can do. "Sting" or "police provocation" or however it may be called in my opinion shall be only allowed:
1. Against an identified person or organization,
2. that is already strongly suspected of committing crimes repeatedly,
3. in case of serious crimes,
4. when other methods of obtaining strong evidence fail,
5. in the same area of criminal activity that's already suspected or for which there's insufficient and/or weak evidence.

So, for example, in case of suspected illegal trade in something really dangerous or heinous, it is OK in my opinion to set up a new false transaction with the suspected party in order to catch the already suspected perpetrators red-handed. It is not OK to set up a general false transaction offer to catch just any and all who show up - this is fishing, that is generating new crime just to have results in detecting crime. It is not OK to set up suspected dealer(s) to attempt committing a murder just to catch THEM for any reason - this is framing and entrapment in the "ends justify means" spirit.

Said that, from what can be read from the article, FBI definitely violated my rules 1. and 2. They haven't disabled new signups! They haven't even arranged to take action only against those that have actually downloaded or uploaded some CP, simply logging in was sufficient! This is clearly fishing. It is tantamount to, having seized a huge batch of whatever chemical substance is currently en vogue, cutting it into single doses and sending undercover officers to deal it in the streets, only to arrest anybody who just stopped by and talked to them!

The case also shows the weakness of judicial oversight in the USA and really immoral practices of the law enforcement. The FBI actively seeks the weakest links in the court system, approaching carefully selected, somewhat gullible, not technically savvy, low-order judges, just to have their papers rubber-stamped.

TerrenceFebruary 9, 2016 1:20 PM

@Graham Anderson

I recall a National Geographic magazine article in which the descendants of cannibals were interviewed. They recalled how the Japanese occupied the N part of their island during WWII and they had witnessed the Japanese eating human flesh. When they were reminded their own ancestors had been cannibals they replied "yeah, but our ancestors cooked the flesh before they ate it. The Japanese ate it raw."

Death row inmates frequently compare themselves to one another - murdering someone is justifiable, but raping a child is not. Gang members murder a passerby in cold blood as a rite of passage, but lying to someone in the gang is unforgivable.

Most men think child pornography is bad, and say so because they know everyone will agree with them automatically. But "regular" pornography? Oh, that is OK because doesn't everyone watch pornography?

It's a lie. Pornography is a scourge, period. But don't think I don't know how many are addicted to it. That's why they'll scream like hell when someone tells them it's wrong. "Who are you to tell me I shouldn't look at pornography?" And then they'll want you to think they're a good person because they condemn child pornography. It's a lie.

The gov't? They can give you a dozen reasons why gambling is bad, but then they operate their own schemes to soak the poor under the guise of helping education. It's a bigger scam then Madoff.

Johannes SebastianFebruary 9, 2016 1:33 PM

I think it is fair for the FBI to operate a watering hole, zero day attack from a site so egregiously bad as a pedophile site, even if that means they just use one warrant to do so.

It can skirt the boundaries, as dragnet surveillance is a severe problem, and legislation in all related areas is extremely poor, but this seems pretty cut and dry. Largely because the liklihood of innocent people visiting such a site, which probably is on the darknet, is so extremely low.

Applying the same methodology to more mixed environments is a very different matter.

I do believe, for me, my major concern about such activities is their potential for abuse. Specifically in regards to abuse in having out of control authorities use surveillance technology to undermine the government, including undermining basic principles of the government. (Such as using dragnet surveillance against civil rights heroes or other "targets" that are absolutely not unlawful people or groups. Using dragnet and targeted surveillance to control domestic politicians and other VIPs and VI groups. Etc.)

Busting up a sex trade house in real life, nobody would have a problem with, and this is the equivalent.

Hiding stingray technology, having zero accountability for it, or using dragnet/watering hole zero day attacks on mass civilian, domestic populations on facebook? Not good.

Johannes SebastianFebruary 9, 2016 1:43 PM

Secondary issue:

Reading quickly through the comments reminded me of the issue which bothered me when I initially read of this case -- the fact that the FBI had to run a child porn site and so serve up child porn material for the matter of time they did.

I do not believe this was an issue of entrapment. We have seen that a lot recently in some very bad cases. Granted, I do believe that matters on the site and specifically on the liklihood someone visited the site intentionally to trade and engage in child porn.

But, this is a very ugly fact of child porn investigations, and there seems little way around that.

Nobody would shrug a shoulder if US intelligence compromised a valid foreign target site and used zero day watering hole attacks on it.

But, criminal authorities have a higher standard to uphold.

Primarily there is a good reason for this: while, yes, sometimes espionage does engage in manipulation works, usually it is pretty passive. Whereas with criminal investigations, that work is not passive, and it is routine to - shock - put people in jail for very long periods of time. Improper investigative methods can certainly put innocent people in jail.

There is little way to avoid this sort of investigation, however. I would not complain if such tactics were used on sites that promote violent revolution against the US or other countries, especially with groups like ISIS with a past history of standing by their preaching of violence. Nor could I complain much about similar severe cases, like this and related sex trade. Who really can?

This sort of method is actually far cleaner work then actually posing as a terrorist or pedophile, as well. The site would have been there anyway. They are effectively just observing - as ugly as it is - what is already going on.


Johannes SebastianFebruary 9, 2016 1:56 PM

@Daniel

Second, I object to the general principle that the people responsible for upholding the law can break the law in the process. I call this the "Freeh doctrine" because former FBI director Freeh was most adamant about its morality. It's bullshit.

I covered your other points in my new, initial two posts above. (I do not expect much, if any debate or criticism on my posts.)

On this, I absolutely hate corrupt cops and officials. There is nothing more reprehensible.

Knowing evil is much worse then ignorant evil. The person who doesn't know they did wrong is worthy of less punishment, then the person who knows what wrong it is they are doing and said, "I will do good", but did that wrong. As is anyone entrusted with governmental power and authority.

So, we talk about serial killers as if they are more as zoo animals, but we really represent true evil with figures such as Hitler and the SS.

If Freeh winked at cop evil, claiming that no FBI could ever do any wrong, then he clearly was kissing ass to the troops and not a real leader at all. A democratic, of sorts, brown noser. One of the uglier sort of creations we sometimes find in democracies.

But, really, this is not the case in this case. It is surrounded by slippery slopes, but if a sex trade house was busted in real life, I do not think you would bat your eye. Problem is just this is virtual. Same ethics.


This is not withstanding we have all witnessed, lately, some truly despicable arguments by some very corrupt officials using the worst of crimes to bypass and shortcut thinking, reasoning, and all morality to make arguments for boundless, dragnet, domestic surveillance.

Their arguments go, "Serial killers are the reason we need stingrays off the books", where they typically will go into great detail of horrific crimes. As if there is a line there between the horrific crime... and the crime they wish to perpetuate themselves. The simple minded and those incapable of reasoning certainly are waylaid by such argumentation. But, for everyone else, their tactics are transparently vile. As is revealed about their true character when they make it.

But, this, too, does not appear to be the case here.


CJDFebruary 9, 2016 2:07 PM

Niemöller’s Modified Statement

In the US, first they skirted the law and came first for the pedophiles, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a pedophile.

Then they skirted the law and came first for the sex slave traders, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a sex slave trader.

Then they skirted the law and came first for the prostitutes, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a prostitute.

Then they skirted the law and came first for the drug traffickers, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trafficker.

Then they skirted the law and came first for the major drug users, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a major drug user.

Then they skirted the law and came first for the recreational drug users, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a recreational drug user.

Then they skirted the law and came first for the activists, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a activist.

Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up...

ToCaseyFebruary 9, 2016 2:20 PM

@casey: "For example, if any of the IPs belonged to FBI agents family members, the same process must be applied"

of course it is false, especially for rich families: otherwise, the plaintiffs may sue up to the federal courts and jeopardize the legality of the whole FBI methods.

Jesse ThompsonFebruary 9, 2016 2:51 PM

@Terrence
> It's a lie. Pornography is a scourge, period.

You can't even *define* pornography though, can you?

If my wife and I snap nudes to trade with one another via MMS, is that pornography? If Miley Cyrus twerks her flat ass on cable TV is that pornography? Calvin Klein underwear advertisements on Billboards? Classic artwork: (NSFW) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/16/famous-erotic-art_n_4598450.html ? The UK Sun's Page 3 girl? Tijuana Bibles? South Park / Family Guy / American Dad / Rick and Morty? (.. and have you seen their pilot?) Photographs from a clothing-optional beach? FHM, Maxim, today's Playboy, Yesterday's Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler?

Child pornography has a clear dividing line: children cannot legally consent to the activities being filmed, nor to the publicity of the filmed material. Therefor every viewer is not only a peeping tom, but peeping on one of the most horrific acts of violation of trust around: one that the subject given time and experience is inevitably going to suffer psychological harm from having publicized.

If I take a nude picture of myself, as an adult I have sufficient agency to consent to share this image with my wife, or with whatever audience I choose, and I can even sign a model release form to that end. I also have sufficient agency to calculate the risks of informational leakage, in case the images fall into unwanted hands.

So that's the line that we draw: consent to perform the actions in the image to begin with, and consent to publicize the event in the image. What line can you possibly draw to tell "any kind of pornography" from "any kind of rap music video"? :P

Johannes SebastianFebruary 9, 2016 3:30 PM

The actual quote is:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.


Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.


Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.


Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I think the posters equating pedophilia pornography with consensual adult - adult pornography; or, "socialist" and "jew" with "pedophile" and "sex trader" are actually probably serious, and genuinely can not differentiate the differences.

Likewise with the poster that can not differentiate between pedophile porn and normal, legal adult porn.

Both are painfully pretentious in their self-righteousness, yet clearly self-deluded about this. And both exhibit in their statements, behaviors which are endemic with people engaged in some really reprehensible behavior themselves.

Don't know any other sort of person who entertains really extreme self-righteousness like that.

100% negative indicator, zero false positive chance.

They embrace these attitudes because they don't just have skeletons in their closet. They have rotting corpses they badly need to hide the scent of. By embracing extreme self-righteous stances, this helps them do this, and is the only reason for anyone to embrace such absurd stances.

End of innocenceFebruary 9, 2016 3:46 PM

@Johannes Sebastian
"I would not complain if such tactics were used on sites that promote violent revolution against the US or other countries, especially with groups like ISIS with a past history of standing by their preaching of violence. Nor could I complain much about similar severe cases, like this and related sex trade. Who really can?"

I guess we would not have US of A, if your tactics had been used by the British, oh, back in 1776. Just project the same tactics to 2025, or any other years in the future...

@Mission Creep
"4. When it all goes bad, and it will, the untouchables will regularly start planting material on the computers of people they don't like - framing them with impunity. It is a piece of cake for these guys to manufacture IP/MAC addresses and accounts that marry up with targets they intend to take down."

That's probably the ultimate goal for law enforcement; they will file charges and you'll have to prove that you're innocent. If you cannot, you're guilty as charged. You know, like they do in communist countries...

Never mind that the IP/MAC address does not identify a person. The FBI will know you did it, they have planted the evidence there...

DanielFebruary 9, 2016 3:49 PM

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/02/08/who-planted-drugs-in-the-pta-moms-car-upscale-parents-and-for-the-strangest-of-reasons

A sobering tale of what all the FBI apologists on this thread want to promote.

“They are both highly educated attorneys,” Peters’s attorney, Rob Marcereau, told ABC. “Went to top schools. They should know better. They believe they’re above the law — that they can do anything to anyone.”

The woman was lucky. Imagine if these people had been part of the security state. Then everyone would have been told to look the other way.

But let us be clear here. No child is born believing they are above the law. They learn that behavior. And they learn it because they get away with it time and time again.

anonFebruary 9, 2016 5:40 PM

Remember, the first setup for silk road was for a false ID operation.

Written up well in the weeklies in Las Vegas.

DOJ issued up to 20k fake id's (many were multiples to same address.)

These weren't fake id's really, they were produced with state eqpt, and were therefore legally issued.

AFAIRK, they arrested about 100 people, and prosecuted 13.

Aaron McFarlane, Pride of the FBIFebruary 9, 2016 6:00 PM

Nicholas Weaver @10:38 shows up to spoonfeed you some secret-police propaganda. He thinks you're dumb. When he assets that "every single user meets a probable cause criteria [sic]," he's hoping you forgot the case of Tormail. Recall that Eric Eoin Marques, "largest facilitator of child porn on the planet," was attacked only after he rolled out encrypted email service. Recall also that before the FBI's blanket surveillance of Tormail correspondence in breach of the ICCPR, Tormail users were sent child pornography in a scare campaign. CIA conspiracy clown David Ickes pitched in to hype the moral panic. Recall that Irish authorities declined to prosecute Marques, and extradited him to the US only after two years of pressure.

The Irish are aware that US authorities use pedophile sex-offense allegations as a pretext for arbitrary intrusions and attacks on the reputation of political adversaries. Ask Wikileaks supporter Matt DeHart. Ask loose cannon Donald Sachtleben. Ask Scott Ritter.

FBI is a proven wholesale source of child pornography. They will not hesitate to fabricate child-porn charges to attack internet privacy and freedom of association. This is America's Cheka. FBI destroyed evidence to obstruct justice in the Amerithrax case. FBI murdered a key witness in the Boston Marathon bombing case. FBI gave fabricated testimony in the case of Lockerbie bombing. FBI exfiltrated OKC bomber Andreas Strassmeir to Germany. Probable cause means FBI got sicced on you, nothing more.

TerrenceFebruary 9, 2016 6:43 PM

Wow, what kind of psycho nut job would put his own wife in a porn movie? Maybe the problem isn't with those who can't tell the difference between "good porn" and "bad porn" but with those who think they can.

Clive RobinsonFebruary 10, 2016 2:41 AM

@ 65535,

I believe Clive mentioned a similar type of Child Porn sting in the UK that really did not work out well

If you are talking about the UK's Operation Ore, then yes I know about some of what went on. It's not a subject I like to talk about as it makes my flesh crawl thinking about what went on with the Police investigation.

One of the things you have to realise is that Operation Ore came about because the US Gov supplied the UK Gov with a list of credit card numbers IP addresses etc of those who had supposadly used a US Porn Gateway (landslide). The US Agency supplying the information included what turned out to be false and misleading information, over and above the "raw data" dumps taken whilst the US Gov agency "ran the site".

Conservative estimates indicated that Operation Ore had set back child safe guarding in the UK by atleast seven years, and had disproportionately consumed significant resources in a wasteful maner and driven nearly 40 --probably innocent-- people to suicide, whilst the politicaly connected were protected.

The big problem was "the man in charge" who was the "spider in the heart of the web" if people "google" for "Operation Ore" and "CEOP" you will find out who he is and you can then trace back his career from his questionable start in the RUC and "the troubles" in N.I.. Personaly I would not wish to be in the same building let alone the same room with the man, but I'll let others decide how long a spoon they would need to sit down and dine with him.

He appears like most con men to have "the gift of the gab" and be able to get involvment with senior politico's to the point "he gets protection" (Tony Blair MP then UK Prime Minister for instance got a DORA D-Notice out to try and stop digging by the press into Ore, as subsequent scandals show Tony has a lot of questions over his behavior as does his wife, and she's a barrister...).

Whilst there was certainly some cases of porn being downloaded the court cases don't actually show very much evidence of it involving children. In fact in one case the only evidence presented turned out to be a picture of an actress and basic enquires that the Police failed to make would have verified this, and that the actress was an adult at the time the picture was taken...

Likewise the Police failed to actually verify what they chose to believe as evidence that came from the US to see if it was in any way reliable... (it most definatly was not).

Put simply it appears a well known Supermarket chain had poor security around it's IT systems and a lot of customer data including CC details Names etc etc got stolen, and this had been used by criminals...

The Ore investigators had early and clear warning that there was third party computer fraud involved. Because one of those accused of accessing the gateway was on an aircraft over the Atlantic at the time of the access. Though he subsiquently cleared his name the "special" tactics the Police used destroyed his career and family.

The investagative Journalist Duncan Campbell looked into Ore and the Police, and did not like what he found and wrote articles on it.

The Police "Expert Witness" was found to have "lied under oath" and subsiquently himself came under a Police investigation for Child Porn. This was carried out by a different Police force but it colapsed when it was found their investigation was significantly flawed...

It goes on and on, but as I said you need to look at the history of the spider at the heart of the web and see the questionable history on both sides of Ore. He is still conning his way onto radio programs and getting close to money (Bill Gates for instance) power (politicians) and other very news worthy events (Madeleine McCann). With the result he appears as a guest or expert speaker at conferences and events in many places. His current occupation appears to be "journalist" for "Police Hour" which appears more as a lobbying organisation than an independent media organisation.

He is not the only "senior Policeman" with a murky past to become a journalist if you look at the Police investigation by the same force into "Phone Hacking" you will see this... A coincidence? Perhaps...

ianfFebruary 10, 2016 2:49 AM


@ CJD, @ Johannes Sebastian,
                                                    I said it before, and I'll repeat myself 'til death do us part:

    leave Martin Niemöller be. His words were not a metaphor to be deployed willy-nilly as some analogy to be repulped. Having used it previously in some high-school debating society debate is not a license to reuse it.

PS. In the '90s Martin Niemöller's widow then living in the USA participated in the HOLOCAUST discussion list, spoke out against misappropriation (generalizing utility) of her late pastor-husband's words. Heed that!

65535February 10, 2016 4:29 AM

@ Clive

Yes, Operation Ore was the turd. It is an example of over-reach and abuse by the Government.

[Wikipedia]

"Operation Ore was a British police operation that commenced in 1999 following information received from US law enforcement, which was intended to prosecute thousands of users of a website reportedly featuring child pornography. It was the United Kingdom's biggest ever computer crime investigation, leading to 7,250 suspects identified, 4,283 homes searched, 3,744 arrests, 1,848 charged, 1,451 convictions, 493 cautioned and 140 children removed from suspected dangerous situations and an estimated 33 suicides. Operation Ore identified and prosecuted some sex offenders, but the validity of the police procedures was later questioned, as errors in the investigations resulted in a large number of false arrests… Investigative journalist Duncan Campbell exposed these flaws in a series of articles in 2005 and 2007... Many of the charges at the Landslide affiliated sites were made using stolen credit card information, and the police arrested the real owners of the credit cards, not the viewers. Thousands of credit card charges were made where there was no access to a site, or access only to a dummy site. When the police checked, seven years after Operation Ore commenced, they found 54,348 occurrences of stolen credit card information in the Landslide database. The British police failed to provide this information to the defendants, and in some cases implied that they had checked and found no evidence of credit card fraud when no such check had been done…” Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ore

Clive RobinsonFebruary 10, 2016 5:48 AM

@ 65535,

If you are looking on Wiki, follow the link to the US "Operation Avalanche" you will find quite a bit more on what went on in the UK as well as the US.

On re-reading my comment above, I did not make it clear that the "Expert Witness" that got arrested for child porn, was originally a defence expert, as it becomes clear he was subject to persecution and a deliberate attempt to remove all Operation Ore records and communications from him most of which werelrgaly privileged and should under no circumstances have been removed from his custody.

The fact that two judges declared the warrent unkawfully obtained and quashed it and awarded damages etc should speak volumes about the dirty tricks the Police were happy to go to.

Then the Head of that Pokice force refusing to return the equipmrnt, records etc and risk going to jail himself tells you a lot more.

Basicaly it would appear that the waggons have been circled to protect Ore and all those involved from those falsely accused should tell you a lot more...

Oh in addition those in the UK arrested on a charge of "incitement to distribute child pornography". The charges were based solely on the presence of their name in the Landslide database raw data given to the UK Gov from the US investigators. Nothing else regardless if the card was even used let alone fraudulently...

Thus in the UK if your ID is obtained in some way along with your CC number, and a criminal puts it in their DB or causes it to be put in anothers DB and some faux or at best tenuous link can be to child porn, then you are "guilty"...

But as can be seen from the comments above, most see "child pornography" and let the emotional not rational side of their brain take over.

Oh one other thing the proprietor of Landslid has pointed out that by far the majority of CC fraud was carried out when the US investigators had taken over the site and was trying to "get data" for prosecutions....

And it appears from the vastly different numbers of people and trials there was something very very odd about the UK Raw Data when compared to other countries. And that unlike the UK Police the US did some rudimentary "checking" and thus had to fake up evidence to get the relatively small number of convictions they did... Then there is the question of officers presenting false evidence in court and not suffering ant consequences...

As I said the whole thing just makes my flesh crawl.

anonymous cowardFebruary 10, 2016 9:11 AM

let me get this straight: the FBI hacked a server hosting content (on the darknet) and had visitors run javascript and maybe leveraged a vulnerability in flash/silverlight/etc.

most hidden services are found via directory or word of mouth, ergo, highly unlikely someone accidentally stumbled upon the site. even for the minority who did, it is trivial to prove if the same user (via sophisticated techniques like browser fingerprinting or something as simple as checking server logs) accessed the site more than once, created an account, etc.

this isnt a death of civil liberties but rather a very astute compromise.

ChesterFebruary 10, 2016 10:46 AM

Anonymous coward, you're using government-issue fallacies to suggest that a government CNE attack is incriminating in itself. You can browse hidden services just like you browse the web. The weak point is indexing, so you have to go there to see what's going on. Internet privacy infrastructure is infested with ersatz government child molesters salting chans with CP and posing as nymphettes and chatty pervs to entrap mental defectives.

A pool of hapless mopes with skeletons in their closet is an valuable asset to the US government. Ever wondered how Scott Ritter got his highly sensitive job with sex offense allegations hanging over his head? Have you ever marveled how Hastert made it to the big time after raping his students? How Foley lived the pedo dream blowing interns for so long? When you blackmail a pedophile, he stays blackmailed.

The US government has institutionalized NKVD-style kompromat based on child sexual abuse. Jeffrey Epstein, Jerry Sandusky, Lawrence King, the Watchers, etc. procure the chicken. Don't fall for the induced mass hysteria.

https://www.corbettreport.com/pedophiles-in-politics-an-open-source-investigation/comment-page-1/

Johannes SebastianFebruary 10, 2016 12:35 PM

@End of Innocence

"I would not complain if such tactics were used on sites that promote violent revolution against the US or other countries, especially with groups like ISIS with a past history of standing by their preaching of violence. Nor could I complain much about similar severe cases, like this and related sex trade. Who really can?"
I guess we would not have US of A, if your tactics had been used by the British, oh, back in 1776. Just project the same tactics to 2025, or any other years in the future...

Pedophiles, ISIS, sex traders... are not and never were the same as the American revolutionaries. Nor were they ever viewed by even the British as such.

(Assuming you are the same poster as CJD. IDK, something about your response made me consider you probably are. Aside from immediate attribution, just consider, do you actually view CJD's post above as reasonable and realistic?)

As for "my" tactics, please.

As I pointed out no one would have ANY problem if cops busted into some slave trafficking den or some pedophile den. Blurring the distinction and adding that kind of equivalency into the very serious concerns people have about such things as "bulk, domestic surveillance" is doing extraordinary harm to such legitimate causes.

In fact, that is the real source of my immediate attribution: because like Terrence and like CJD you also hit at the entirely unreasonable and bring down the whole edifice doing so.

Like them, I considered, right away, that could be some kind of poorly misdirected governmental propagandists thinking they are doing a "good job". Really, that would just be GCHQ, however.

And their neandrathalic view of "psyops".


But, no, while some who have bothered to study little to nothing about the American revolution do, from time to time, actually equate the Revolutionaries on the same league as "ISIS", "pedophiles", or "sex traders" that is laughably and deplorably far from the realities of the history.

But, tell you what:

Why don't you go ahead and step away from your jingoism and write down for me, and us, a good twenty or ten point bullet list of "why you believe ISIS is the same thing as the American revolutionaries". Just so we can get a real good view of your significant blindness to both ISIS and the American revolution?

Of course, doing so would open you up to shame. Even contemplating such a thing would end up *maybe* making you realize how shameful such argumentation is. On many levels. But on one, surely, on just how little homework you have performed on studying either.


Nevermind I am very curious at how deeply you seem to be promoting ISIS here. What is it you so admire about them?

Because, besides that this would reveal your real thinking, the fact is: there is nothing to admire. You would not be able to make any such argument for them in any kind of open forum without getting completely scissored and sliced and diced backwards and forwards. So deeply indefensible are their actions, statements, and beliefs.

TerenceFebruary 10, 2016 12:50 PM

@Terrence

Wow, what kind of psycho nut job would put his own wife in a porn movie? Maybe the problem isn't with those who can't tell the difference between "good porn" and "bad porn" but with those who think they can.

Of course you could not do an @me there, because you have to shame facedly make such an argument and hope I won't come back to slice and dice this.

Well, let me explain something: life is about lesser of two evils.

You are really, here, equating child porn with regular, legal porn. Something you can not openly state in your jingoism. Because it would then be so deeply apparent of how wrong you are.

In context.

FYI, personally, if you hate normal porn so bad, maybe because you have had a porn addiction. Any other reason? And I am sorry for you. I really am.

But, your equating pedophilia porn with normal porn is disturbing to me. Can you, like the other poster, not tell the difference between the American revolutionaries and ISIS? Only, in your case, not tell the difference between pedophile porn and legal porn?

They both weigh the same to you, when you put your mind and heart to it?

Then, you are dishonest.

And I am more then a little concerned you may equate normal sex with pedophilia. Which really only a pedophile would do.


As for your prostitute hate, how Jesus like of you. (Sarcasm.)


These points made by "some" posters here, equating clear and severe evils with lesser evils are highly likely made to stir dissension on strong, important causes.

Hallmark of amateur propagandists pretending to argue from their enemy's side, in order to make their arguments morally repugnant.

They seize on this case because it is exceptional and a good chance for them to spread dissension.


Multiple sides to every argument people. "All or nothing" is absolutely not how laws are made and government is run.

MeFebruary 10, 2016 2:16 PM

If I understand this correctly, I am more offended by the FBI serving illegal material than to them collecting data on those that came to the site.

Dirk PraetFebruary 10, 2016 8:09 PM

@ Bruce

The FBI seems to have obtained a single warrant, but it's hard to believe that a legal warrant could allow the police to hack 1,300 different computers.

I find that pretty hard to swallow too. From a legal angle, I'd say a judge should first decide whether or not such a sting operation is legal, and then individual warrants would be required to NIT every machine for which after preliminary investigation there is probable cause to suspect that the person behind it is a potential pedophile.

65535February 12, 2016 9:45 AM

@ Clive

Yes, “Operation Ore” and “Operation Avalanche” are intertwined. Both have used abusive governmental tactics. Both generated headlines - but fell apart in various degrees in court. I don’t like the smell of both.

[Wikipedia]

“Operation Avalanche was a major United States investigation of child pornography on the Internet launched in 1999 after the arrest and conviction of Thomas and Janice Reedy, who operated an Internet pornography business called Landslide Productions in Fort Worth, Texas. It was made public in early August 2001 at the end of Operation Avalanche, that 100 arrests were made out of 144 suspects. It was followed by Operation Ore in the United Kingdom, Operation Snowball in Canada, Operation Pecunia in Germany, Operation Amethyst in Ireland and Operation Genesis in Switzerland.Although US prosecutions were made on the basis of other evidence, later reconstruction of the Landslide site and review of the computer hard drives in the UK identified flaws in the police forensic procedures used and contradicted evidence on the website given at the Reedys' trial. Specifically, investigation of the Landslide data indicated many names listed were victims of credit card fraud, and that there was no link on the Landslide front page to take the user to child pornography sites as stated in sworn trial testimony... Police conducting Operation Ore in the UK targeted all names for investigation due to the difference in laws in between the US and the UK, which allowed for arrest on a charge of incitement to distribute child pornography based solely on the presence of a name in the database, regardless if the card was used--fraudulently or not--for child pornography or other legal adult sites. Law in the UK allows conviction on the basis of incitement to distribute indecent images; as such, the mere presence on the database, regardless of the legality of the sites paid for, was sufficient to warrant prosecution. In all, 3,744 people were investigated and arrested and 1,451 of those convicted. However, a subsequent challenge by those targeted led to an independent reconstruction of the Landslide site and a closer inspection of the database and the payment transactions.

"In 2005 and 2007 UK investigative journalist Duncan Campbell wrote a series of articles criticizing police forensic procedures and trial evidence. After obtaining copies of the Landslide hard drives, Campbell publicly identified evidence of massive credit card fraud, including thousands of charges where there was no access to any porn site at all. Campbell stated, "Independent computer expert Jim Bates of Computer Investigations said 'the scale of the fraud, especially hacking, just leapt off the screen'." ...Campbell's articles also indicated that sworn statements provided by Dallas detective Steve Nelson and US postal inspector Michael Mead were false. They testified that entry to the Landslide site was through a front-page screen featuring a button saying “Click Here (for) Child Porn”. However, the later investigation established that the button was never on the website’s front page. Instead, it was on an advertising banner for another website buried deep in the Landslide offerings.
After Campbell's articles appeared, independent computer expert Jim Bates of Computer Investigations was charged and convicted of four counts of making false statements and one count of perjury regarding his qualifications and barred from appearing as an expert witness. He was later arrested for possession of indecent images during his Operation Ore investigation.

"However, the search of Bates' home was later ruled unlawful… Police conducting Operation Ore in the UK targeted all names for investigation due to the difference in laws in between the US and the UK, which allowed for arrest on a charge of incitement to distribute child pornography based solely on the presence of a name in the database, regardless if the card was used--fraudulently or not--for child pornography or other legal adult sites. Law in the UK allows conviction on the basis of incitement to distribute indecent images; as such, the mere presence on the database, regardless of the legality of the sites paid for, was sufficient to warrant prosecution. In all, 3,744 people were investigated and arrested and 1,451 of those convicted. However, a subsequent challenge by those targeted led to an independent reconstruction of the Landslide site and a closer inspection of the database and the payment transactions ...2005 and 2007 UK investigative journalist Duncan Campbell wrote a series of articles criticizing police forensic procedures and trial evidence. After obtaining copies of the Landslide hard drives, Campbell publicly identified evidence of massive credit card fraud, including thousands of charges where there was no access to any porn site at all. Campbell stated, "Independent computer expert Jim Bates of Computer Investigations said 'the scale of the fraud, especially hacking, just leapt off the screen'."

"Campbell's articles also indicated that sworn statements provided by Dallas detective Steve Nelson and US postal inspector Michael Mead were false. They testified that entry to the Landslide site was through a front-page screen featuring a button saying “Click Here (for) Child Porn”. However, the later investigation established that the button was never on the website’s front page. Instead, it was on an advertising banner for another website buried deep in the Landslide offerings.After Campbell's articles appeared, independent computer expert Jim Bates of Computer Investigations was charged and convicted of four counts of making false statements and one count of perjury regarding his qualifications and barred from appearing as an expert witness. He was later arrested for possession of indecent images during his Operation Ore investigation. However, the search of Bates' home was later ruled unlawful."
Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Avalanche_%28child_pornography%29#Controversies

Both cases were “sensational” yet proved little in courts. Only the average Joe suffered the abuse.

CallMeLateForSupperFebruary 12, 2016 12:30 PM

Bizarre banter re: a TOR user's having/not having a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Very recently I read something, somewhere, about police adamantly claiming that nobody has a reasonable expectation of privacy in using a cell phone.

Keep hammering away at it, LEAs. Maybe someday everyone will believe it.

ianfFebruary 12, 2016 1:15 PM


@ 65536 […] “Both Operation Ore and Operation Avalanche were “sensational” yet proved little in courts. Only the average Joe suffered the abuse.”

The success degree or rate of such lawmaking endeavors depends on their true objectives – if that was eradication of child porn from the Internet, then of course they could but been failures. But if these ops true intention was to demonstrate the utility of policing (hence future higher budgets) for the tax-paying public and their political representatives, then they must be considered a success (easy to confirm by checking these LEAs subsequent funding). And any abuse of the average, bystander, Joes, can be ascribed to spillover happenstance.


@ CallingYouLateForSupper […] “Very recently I read something, somewhere, about police adamantly claiming that nobody has a reasonable expectation of privacy in using a cell phone.

I know EXACTLY where you read that, on the Internet, darrrrling. As for that police's part wishful thinking, part reflection of reality, it is undoubtedly true, that, if privacy was of value, nobody would be using cell phones, or any other easy to eavesdrop-on phones. But, as their utility trumps everything else, so the intangible, invisible risks to our privacy due to their abuse weight less and less.

IATDLFebruary 16, 2016 12:24 AM

@ 65535

> Child pornography is certainly a vile crime.

I agree that abuse of children, including sexual abuse for the purpose of generating pornography, is a vile crime. "Child pornography", however, is not actually well-defined, being dependent on the jurisdiction involved.

For example, some jurisdictions include text, or stick figure drawing, descriptions of sexual acts with minors, as child pornography (usually with the caveat that they are perfectly legal if they are "art", making the definition even more nebulous).

The definition of child porn automatically includes a jurisdiction-dependent age cutoff defining who is a minor, which probably doesn't translate that well to reality. What exactly is the ethical difference between porn which uses a model which is one day older than the cutoff for minors versus one day younger?

Clive RobinsonFebruary 16, 2016 2:19 AM

@ IATDL,

... automatically includes a jurisdiction-dependent age cutoff defining who is a minor ...

There are many many laws that involve age restrictions with draconian sentencing dependent on an infinitesimal time division, of before and after midnight on a given date.

The change in jurisdiction times often cause many activities to be leagal in one place and illegal in another untill a later date.

In most cases such laws have a not just a nuisance value, but a political one, and thus are arbitrary in the date picked.

And in some cases two laws can have strange outcomes. In the UK for instance there was a "cut off date" for entering the education system, if your birthday is before that date you go into education after that date you have to wait a year. This had a curious side effect of two children born just minutes a part being seperated by a year in education. When combined with laws based on birthdays you get the curious case of pupils in the same class where some are allowed to carry out activities and some not, thus to resolve this the activities get put back a year, which is a lot of time and arguably does significant economic harm to the country...

Nobody has come up with a solution to the problem of "legal age" nor can I see them doing so when "politicians on the make" are involved. Which is why in previous times there was "discretion" in the system, where for instance provided a person looked older than the age by deed or charecteristics the question of age was not asked, unless other incentives were involved.

It worked both ways as I found out, I learnt to use a shotgun nearly a year below the "official age" because of my physical size and general demeanor, however for three years or so "I had to prove my age" to continue to get "child fares" on public transport. A friend who shall we say was "more verticaly challenged" and blessed with more youthful looks had the opposite problem.

Which brings us back to,

... is certainly a vile crime.

I would use the word "evil" because oddly it is these days "less judgmental" in peoples minds, refering more to "the act" than "the person(s)".

Whilst I and others of my age could "game the system" back when we were young, these days there is a more serious cascade issues.

Due to various preasures the "don't ask" policy is nolonger alowed, and thus you have to produce proof of age, thus children and those upto the age of nearly thirty are forced to carry "Proof of Identity" to participate in society.

This in turn has two obvious issues the first is those in authority using it as an excuse to "check your papers" as a form of repression under "just doing our jobs" excuse. The second is that it causes resentment and thus kick back when those effected perceive such "check your papers" is being operated on racial or other bias against them. The harm to society this causes is immense and runs deep and lasts long long after corrective action has been taken and the "them and us" attitudes it forms lasts lifetimes on both sides (in the UK the Met Police were said to have a "canteen culture" that made this endemic in an official report).

So whist some crimes of violence etc etc can be seen as "Evil" by most almost instantly, equal or worse "Evil" in total terms do not get seen by most. And sadly it gets made worse by the attendant "blaim the victim" culture it fosters. This in turn encorages "exploitation" or "radicalisation" by others with "political or financial agenders" on both sides, hence the mess we are slowly subsiding into.

JamesMarch 14, 2016 8:44 PM

I do NOT understand wy the Fed's did not "corrupt" the data, and lay in the photos a trojan to allow them to access and control the computers of all 250+ downloaders?..

This is not so an much entrapment issue (which is truly is), but a further harming of the children that had een exposed at that age to the filth and embarrassment of those photos/video floating around the internet...

It is ILLEGAL to download CP, regardless of source...

Ganging a site could have been done where the photos/videos never become fully realized (remove the headers, or corrupt the headers for those attempting to download the content).

WTF are the stupid, stupid "STUPID" idiots in the federal department thinking?..

mary woods March 23, 2016 5:57 PM


Everyone should be careful of who they contact on here alot of fakes everywhere, i thought this hacking thing was a joke till i needed someone to do a private hacking for me and also a facebook. i was introduced to cyberwizard.140@gmail.com by my very good British friend, so i decided to try him and he passed. firstly he proves to you he is not a cheat by working a sample job that you confirm first then you are 100% sure he can do your work without being cheated. he never ask for payment first, he Shows proof works first he is just great.

ThomJune 11, 2016 12:15 AM

The mass hysteria witch hunt of our generation is our big brother overreaching porn/sexting laws. I couldn't agree more, we need to arrest people hurting people, posting and producing abuse... not solely looking at pics or what consenting teens do with each other, especially considering the laws are so vaguely written that its meaning is left up for the individual to decide. The argument is, looking at underage (under 18) pics is harmful and can facilitate abuse. If that's true, why allow violent images online? Why can you watch videos of war atrocities? Couldn't the same argument be made in both cases? The problem is this is a win-win for politicians and for-profit prisons, and a huge loss for common sense (as well as a very real physical/emotional loss for people prosecuted). No politician has ever lost any election for being too tough on c*p*, and putting more people in jail than another other country is good for the for-profit prison system in the U.S. Now, I ask, why not block those sites if they are convinced simply viewing images is harmful in and of itself? Don't believe for one second they can't, they could easily, the only issue would then be file sharing sites. Which would be the only sites you'd have to avoid. Why don't they, simple, it again goes back to the for-profit prisons. Don't kid yourself, that's exactly why, and politicians who love easy targets to make themselves look like heroes. I know my comments can easily be dismissed... Except the facts are on my side, if you are just willing to look. We allow 16 year olds in many states to get married (this may come as shock but that means they have sex, I know shocking right), some states even lower the age with parental consent. Tell me how a picture is wrong, but early marriage and sex in those situations is perfectly okay? Simple, it's not, it only is cause "they" say so. Still not convinced, why does Sally Mann, Jock Sturges and David Hamilton all have such huge success. Why are their images sold legally on Amazon or at your local book store, yet, if you search similar images the government kicks in your door? Again the answer is simple, you (i.e., any average person) likely doesn't have the financial means to fight them, whereas, they have deep pockets. Let's not stay silent, fight back, abuse should be prosecuted, looking at images found widely available online isn't abuse (don't allow others to conflate the issue). How would you like the thought police to arrest you for what you watch on TV? Oops, you clicked on and downloaded the wrong TV show, now you go to jail, and your life is ruined. Don't kid yourself, the internet is what TV was 20 years ago to everyone that surfs the web. Stand up, fight back, write congress, write the senate, start petitions... it's not a popular subject, don't let others intimidate you, remember nudists view nudity for what it really is, nothing more than a human body. It's our thoughts that they object to, not our actions, because they are simply coming after us for viewing. Also, it's easy to see why so many don't fight back, fear of being ostracized by the abstinence only and purity ball movement crowd is very real. Enough already, don't be afraid anymore, fight back to change the laws! Sexting between teens and simply viewing images (any image) shouldn't ever be illegal!

Stats you should know:

54% of teens "sext" (sent nude images)
http://time.com/2948467/chances-are-your-teen-is-sexting/

Another study put the number at 25%
http://resources.uknowkids.com/facts-stats-sexting

A study in the southeastern U.S. found that 53 percent of boys and 28 percent of girls (ages 12-15) reported use of sexually explicit media. The Internet was the most popular forum for viewing. (Note: doesn't it make sense that at least some of the images they viewed were of teens, close to their own age?)
*Brown, J. & L'Engle, K. 2009, Communications Research, 36(1), 129-151, X-Rated: Sexual attitudes and behaviors associated with U.S. early adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit media

So our answer is to make them criminals in order to protect them? That's nonsense and the laws need to change, time for some common sense.

Why the hysteria?
1 in 6 girls take an oath (under pressure/coercion from her parents) to her father to remain a virgin at a purity ball.
http://www.purityball.com

For-profit prisons -
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/8180124.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/28/how-for-profit-prisons-have-become-the-biggest-lobby-no-one-is-talking-about/

Politicians "When 'tough-on-crime' measures appear on the ballot, they almost always win, and often by large margins."

ianfJune 11, 2016 4:06 AM


Thom, you ARE soooo right-i.s.h. If only you could pare down your breathless prose to a more digestible size, your message would perhaps stand out. As it is, we can but nod our heads while subconsciously looking for some indication where this diatribe is going and/or might end. What, other than indignation, do you propose? Judging by this nugget of trivia

[…] “1 in 6 [American] girls takes an oath (under pressure from her parents) to her father to remain a virgin at a purity ball

… you seem to equate this form of oppression with USA's excessive incarceration practices and other form of everyday fascism.

This waters down these disparate concepts, and misses the point of severity of outcome – in the virginity oath case impossible to guard, unenforceable and temporary anyway. In fact, I'd say that to any girl who's had to plead that, it must've felt the easy-peasy in relation to all other forms of familial and near-societal abuse that she's already subjected to (of course that's only my opinion, and I don't have any statistics to prove it).

I like someone who fights for unrestricted adolescent sexuality, but in the end… boys and girls, you know… ours but to grit our teeth and think of England.

ThomJune 12, 2016 6:38 PM

@ianf,

Agreed on the point of my "breathless prose", I certainly could have (and likely should have), taken just a moment more and laid it out in an easier to read format. My hope was to have an intellectually honest look at an emotionally polarizing issue.

Also, if you interrupted my post about the purity movement and for-profit prisons as simply forms of oppression, you missed my point. My point was, the overreaching big brother thought crime laws (I know that's a mouth full), are pushed by three separate agendas. One is primarily driven by ideology, an ideology that has no room for beliefs that are different than their own; one that also brain washes and indoctrinates children into their beliefs. Another, is driven by profit only, it has no conscious, no remorse, and doesn't care in right or wrong; it's only driven for the pursuit of a never ending need for more money. Third, is a political machine driven by power, as well as greed; that is influenced overwhelming by big business and their lobbyist.

You are partial right, I do fight for "adolescent sexuality". Of course, comprehensive unbiased nonjudgemental education is key to raising selfaware informed young people... and it's important in raising young people able to think critically. The other issue I fight for is common sense, choosing to look at an image (any image) should never be a crime. It's the misguided idea that a thought, in and of itself, is a crime.

ThomJune 12, 2016 6:49 PM

My apologies on any and all typos, I blame fat thumbs, a small phone, not to mention old eyes and autocorrect. I meant to say *interpreted, in my reply to ianf!

ianfJune 14, 2016 10:37 PM


@ Thom's “hope was to have an intellectually honest look at an emotionally polarizing issue.

I understand. Then you smothered it with wholesale indignation. Can't say more without changing you $225/hr for therapeutic services.


[…] “the overreaching big brother thought crime laws are pushed by three separate agendas. One is primarily driven by ideology… Another is driven by profit Third is a political machine driven by power, as well as greed

I see a Don Quixote in the making, fighting all three windmills at once (no offense intended—you should be proud to evoke an image of such a Famous Literary Figure).


[…] “The other issue I fight for is common sense… a misguided idea that a thought, in and of itself, would be a crime.

Do not forget to enlist the triple qualities of consistency, persistency and logick™ in support of your life-long-and-beyond struggle to teach fellow humans how to sense what's common.

ThomJune 15, 2016 4:27 AM

@ianf, I'm impressed, your years of literary writing really show through in your comments, you are articulate and very well spoken. However, I can't help but wonder why the attack? After all, your comments lack substance, deflect from the issues, and are intentionally misleading.

Let's break down your analysis just a little, "...wholesale indignation", that has ring of judgement to it and the therapy comment... Well there's no ambiguity there, that's an outright attack. It's an an old hat way of attacking the messenger, instead of the message.

"...Don Quixote...", was insane, fighting perceived wrongs and had a self-righteous view of himself. In this, you have intentionally conflated a fictional literally work (albeit, a literary masterpiece) with a very real issue that has the potential to impact all of our lives (in the U.S.). You may be thinking about that last comment, so before you quote me and add your snappy repartee, I'll explain. I have kids (as do most of us), they'll have kids and so on.

"...teach fellow humans to sense what's common", That's the thing, I'm not telling anyone how to live their life or how to think, that's what the government is doing by making laws against thought crimes and against teens; teens that can get married at 16 but take a sexual picture and they're a felon in the eyes of our current laws. That's just plain stupid, and these kind of conflicting overreaching laws need to change!

I'm not sure why you choose to move the conversation to a less substantive, more condescending, tone but I'd much rather not continue debating someone that moves the conversation from the real issues to personal attacks. Debates like that serve no purpose and have no definitive conclusion. While you can clearly run circles around me with your silver tongue and golden pen, I feel you've likely already made up your mind on the issue and, right or wrong, your sticking with it... or perhaps, it's just that you don't care? No need to reply, I'm done. I'm old enough to know you can't wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Instead, I hope to get through to people that are always asking why, question everything, and know that laws aren't always in our best interest.

So again, this is my last call to action on this site. Change the sexting laws, it really makes no sense to lock teens up and call it protecting teens. Also, no image should be illegal to view, lock up people that hurt people, post pics, share pics... But simply viewing an image, any image, should never be a crime? While we are on the subject, marijuana should be legal in every state too! I personally have never tried it, but even I can see laws against marijuana are really stupid laws.

ThomJune 15, 2016 5:19 AM

Of course there is always the possiblity I misunderstood, took light hearted whimsical banter as malicious insults. That's the thing about the written word, it lacks the intricacies and interpersonal touch of face to face conversation. If I misunderstood, my apologies.

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