Judge Tells FBI They Can't Use Webcams To Spy on People01/05/2013 17:46
A federal judge in Texas has told the FBI that they cannot "install sophisticated surveillance software" on a suspect's computer in order to spy on them.
The request by the FBI came in a case involving federal bank fraud and identity theft. The FBI had no idea where the suspect was, but they wanted to surreptitiously install software on their computer to find them.
The Judge, Stephen Smith (not this one), objected to the FBI's use of remote administration technology (RAT), software favored by the very hackers the FBI is looking to catch.
The judge outlined the FBI's request writing that investigators wanted to “surreptitiously install data extraction software on the Target Computer. Once installed, the software has the capacity to search the computer’s hard drive, random access memory, and other storage media; to activate the computer’s built-in camera; to generate latitude and longitude coordinates for the computer’s location; and to transmit the extracted data to FBI agents within the district.”
Basically, this would give remote access to FBI agents to the suspect's computer, including the use of their webcam to spy on them.