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Challenging hacking by the government

There has been an increasing use of hacking by federal law enforcement officials using malware. Criminal defense attorneys in the state of Washington and the rest of the country have strategies to combat this form of surveillance and to keep evidence that was obtained illegal from being brought into court.

Due to a change in criminal court procedures on the federal level, federal agents have been allowed to use a single warrant to remotely examine thousands of computers without having to provide who is being monitored or where they are located. Along with the American Civil Liberties Union and attorneys at Electronic Frontier Foundation, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has issued a report that detail how the remote and secretive spying on computer users in order to collect evidence can be challenged.

The largest acknowledged government hacking operation involved the Federal Bureau of Investigation seizing the servers of a website suspected of hosting child pornography. However, instead of shuttering the site, the FBI continued to operate it. Using a single warrant to target users, the FBI hacked nearly 9,000 devices in 120 countries worldwide. Hundreds of users accused of accessing the website were charged by the FBI, and many of them have challenged the legality of the warrant. According to legal briefs that were filed, the EFF asserts that the warrant is unconstitutional and that the evidence that resulted from the warrant should be ruled inadmissible.

A criminal defense attorney may work to ensure that individuals who are accused of committing a crime have not had their civil rights violated. Police reports, witness statements, crime scene photos and any other evidence related to an alleged crime may be examined. The legality of any warrants that were issued or any seizure of evidence may be challenged.

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