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CIPA – not as stupid as it sounds

But should the FBI be able to hide behind it?

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FBI let off cyber snooping hook

The FBI this week managed to wriggle out of explaining exactly how it gained evidence that mobster Nicodemo Scarfo was involved in illegal gambling and loan sharking. The fact that the FBI got away with installing key logging software onto Scarfo's computer despite not having a bugging warrant caused concern for reader Jason Blalock.

A Yank here. Just wanted to let you know that the CIPA is not *quite* as stupid as it sounds. It was intended to only be invoked in wartime or other limited circumstances. And the point was so that a court could not order the miltiary to cough up full specs, on say, the latest superbomber we've got under development. It does make a certain amount of sense from a military POV. (remember the fuss during the Gulf War with CNN reporting troop movements before Iraq knew about them?)

However, the FBI using it as a shield for a keysniffer *is* absolutely ludicrous, and I can't believe the judge is letting them get away with it.

The CIPA was definately not meant to let the government get away with spying on its own citizens. It's a total abuse of the act. The conspiracy theorist in me wants to think they've got their sniffer planted on the desks of foreign leaders, which would be just about the only case that would allow them to legitimately invoke the CIPA.

Far more likely though, it's simply that they KNOW they nabbed the guy with illegal evidence and don't want to give him up. (and virtually no one else in the country thinks that keysniffing should not need a search warrant)

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