Privacy is a topic which can be interpreted in a wide variety of different ways. At the same time, there are a lot of people who don’t grasp the concept of digital privacy. One judge in Virginia has ruled that Internet-connected computers will offer no privacy. The reason is simple: computer security is inefficient at stopping hackers. But what does this mean for law enforcement hacking?
Is There Such a Thing As Online Privacy?
The more judges and other “people in a seat of power” discuss the privacy topic, the more obvious it becomes it will be taken away from us at some point. When judges officially rule that anyone who connects to the Internet should not expect privacy, things are taking a turn for the worse. Then again, we can protect ourselves from prying eyes, up to a certain extent.
Over the past few months, there have been various incidents involving law enforcement hacking tactics. Particularly the Tor network seems to be a favorite target for the FBI in recent years. Somehow, they manage to deanonymize users without using illegal action. Or that is how it appears, anyway, as they have still not disclosed their investigative tools to the public.
Luckily, there is still a silver lining in all of this. The FBI is still not in the clear regarding their investigative techniques. One judge in Oregon has deemed it impossible to hold someone accountable for copyright infringement unless there is crystal clear evidence that person committed the crime. Just an IP address alone is not sufficient to prove anyone’s direct involvement in illegal activities over the Internet.
This mixed response from judges all across the US is not a promising sign either, though. It is positive to see some people seem to know how IP addresses work, but that does not mean they cannot be overruled by the Supreme Court if needed. Law enforcement agencies have the law on their side, and it is up to judges and the defense council to provide adequate proof the obtained evidence is not conclusive.
How this will all play out in regarding user privacy on the Internet, remains anybody’s guess at this time. The battle lines are being drawn, but it looks more likely no one in the world will be safe from law enforcement spying in the future. That is unless something drastically changes in the next few years.
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