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Georgia Judge Sentences Russian Hacker to 14 Years in Prison

U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones of the Northern District of Georgia sentenced a Russian cybercriminal to 14 years in prison for involvement in an international hacking conspiracy. The hacker, 33-year-old Roman Valeryevich Seleznev of Vladivostok, Russia, participated in a fraud network that caused more than $50 million in damage. In August 2016, a federal jury in Washington convicted Seleznev ... Read More »

Xanax Dealer Sold to “Vulnerable Young Women,” Judge Revealed

District Judge Barney McElholm granted anonymity to a 34-year-old darknet drug buyer. According to the court, the Derry area man ordered drugs from the darknet and had resold them near to where he lived. Numerous factors contributed to the judge’s decision to keep the case under wraps, one of which was that the dealer’s life could be in danger since ... Read More »

Judge Rules FBI Can Keep an iPhone Exploit Secret

In 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation purchased an iPhone exploit from an undisclosed vendor for more than one million dollars. The iPhone that needed exploitation had belonged to the San Bernardino shooter who killed 14 people. During the investigation, the FBI claimed that the lock on the iPhone had prevented authorities from accessing the phone. Three news agencies later ... Read More »

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Alphabay Vendor “PeterTheGreat” to Face a Judge in August

In April, federal law enforcement agencies arrested the drug dealers behind the Alphabay vendor profile “PeterTheGreat.” The United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and Homeland Security Investigations led the operation the darknet vendor after a U-47700 (U4) overdose in Portland, Oregon. Now, in mid August, South Carolina courts are preparing to deal with both defendants at their first real hearing. ... Read More »

Federal Judge Orders FBI Dark Web Sting to be Kept Secret

Magistrate Judge Paige Gossett ordered an FBI dark web sting to be kept confidential despite the evidence necessary to uncover the details of the investigation for a fair and transparent case. Earlier this month, Tyrell Fears, a graduate of Dutch Fork High School, along with two other men were arrested and charged for conspiracy to murder. Officials and investigators from ... Read More »

Once Again, Judge Rules Against FBI in Porno Case

The FBI’s Operation Pacifier placed many lawyers and civil rights advocates in an awkward position. From a perspective, the FBI hunted down and took down some of society’s most hated using any means necessary. But from another, the Department of Justice illegally hacked thousands of computers and then refused to disclose evidence. Thus, many judges ruled that the government’s evidence ... Read More »

US Judge: “Actual Location” of Electronic Data Does Not Matter

In late April 2017, magistrate judge Laurel Beeler rejected Google’s motion to quash a search warrant that requested data stored on foreign servers. This decision directly contradicted one made by circuit Judges in the New York Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a case where Microsoft fought a similar warrant. In both—unrelated but strikingly similar—cases, the tech giants received Stored ... Read More »

Judge Rules That Unlocking Cellphones via Fingerprint Does Not Violate Constitutional Rights

In response to an incident that lacked any relation to the last fingerprint-related news, a Minnesota court ruled against a recent Fifth Amendment appeal regarding device passwords. The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that ordering an individual to unlock a device with a fingerprint “is no more testimonial than furnishing a blood sample, providing handwriting or voice exemplars, standing in ... Read More »

Judge Closed the Case Against a Friend of Shiny Flakes, Fined Him 1350 Euros

In 2015, the German Federal Police arrested a notorious vendor—both darknet and clearnet. The vendor, Maximilian S., operated under the name “Shiny Flakes.” After a long and surprising trial period, the Leipzig District Court sentenced the 20-year-old to seven years in prison. German police raided 38 homes following the Shiny Flakes bust and seized massive amounts of illegal substances. A ... Read More »

Knoxville Federal Judge Rules Against FBI In PlayPen Case

Senior U.S. District Judge Leon Jordan ruled that the Federal Bureau of Investigation violated both the US Constitution and federal rules of criminal procedure when they hacked nearly 1,300 users who accessed the PlayPen child porn site. During Operation Pacifier, the FBI took over the dark net child porn site PlayPen and ran it between February 20 and March 4, ... Read More »

Third Judge Rules FBI’s Playpen Warrant Invalid

In Iowa, Federal Judge Robert Pratt ordered the evidence resulting from an arrest in the FBI’s Playpen investigation be suppressed. The warrant was issued in part of the FBI’s operation to hack Tor users. The FBI took control of a child pornography site, Playpen, for two weeks in order to unmask its users. Including Judge Pratt’s suppression, this is only the third case out of 200 ... Read More »