Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Sued for Hacking Activities 'Cover-Up'
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit was filed last Friday
The American Civil Liberties Union has sued several US federal agencies over their failure to disclose information regarding the hacking activities the government engaged in that targeted the public.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit was filed last Friday in New York calls on the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and four other agencies to reveal what 'hacking tools' they use, the frequency of use and the basis for employing such tactics.
The lawsuit also requests internal audits related to the public being targeted by government hacking programs.
The ACLU brought the suit following its FOIA requests regarding government hacking, which went answered.
“Because of the privacy and security implications of hacking as well as its potential for misuse, the public has a strong interest in learning about how law enforcement is deploying and regulating hacking,” the lawsuit reads.
RT reports: It emphasizes that the public remains “in the dark” about the extent to which law enforcement agencies use their surveillance systems.
Moreover, the procedures regulating the government’s use of hacking methods remain “largely secret,” it’s claimed.
In a press release outlining its legal action, the ACLU noted some of the “troubling” examples of US agencies targeting Americans with hacking methods.
In one case, the government highjacked an internet hosting service, likely spreading malware to countless innocent people who visited websites on the commandeered server.
In another high-profile case, an FBI agent is supposed to have impersonated an Associated Press reporter to place malware on a suspect’s computer.
The ACLU claims the suit will help cast light on how common these cases are and to what extent they pose a threat to privacy.
Without an understanding of what the government is doing – and what rules it follows – it is difficult for the public to meaningfully determine whether and when the government should engage in hacking.
It is also impossible to learn whether the US government is “collecting excessive information about the people it surveils,” and how investigators deal with “innocent bystanders’ information.”
The issue of privacy continues to be a point of significant concern in the US since the infamous NSA worldwide snooping its former employee Edward Snowden exposed case.
Washington’s allies have also been ensnarled in domestic surveillance scandals.
In September, the European Court of Human Rights declared that London’s mass surveillance program violated human rights.