«To put it mildly, this is a huge, huge problem,” Wray said. “It impacts investigations across the board — narcotics, human trafficking, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, gangs, organized crime, child exploitation. […] I get it, there’s a balance that needs to be struck between encryption and the importance of giving us the tools we need to keep the public safe» – Christopher Wray (FBI Director).
It could have made an entertaining spy movie, if it wasn’t disturbingly real: The Italian police say a brother and sister for years hacked into the phones and computers of the top tiers of Italian society — from high-ranking government officials, to business leaders to Freemasons and even Vatican prelates. On Wednesday, the brother and sister, Giulio Occhionero, 45, and Francesca Maria Occhionero, 49, appeared before a judge here.
They are accused of illegally accessing classified information, and breaching and intercepting information technology systems and data communications.
The police said the charges described an unprecedented cyberattack on prominent Italian institutions and individuals.
Information gleaned from the breaches was stored on servers in the United States, police officials said, and inquiries continue with the assistance of the F.B.I.’s cyberdivision.
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies will be able to search multiple computers across the country with a single warrant thanks to a controversial rule change that takes effect on Thursday.
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“If the government can circumvent the process merely by buying vulnerabilities, then the process becomes a farce. The FBI is not interested in cybersecurity.’’
In 2015, the FBI seized a Tor-hidden child-porn website known as Playpen and allowed it to run for 13 days so that the FBI could deploy malware in order to identify and prosecute the website’s users. That malware, known in FBI-speak as a « network investigative technique, » was authorized by a federal court in Virginia in February 2015.