The FBI is facing accusations that malware it deployed while running Operation Playpen, a sting that infiltrated and maintained a dark web child pornography website for two weeks and eventually led to more than 100 arrests, was illegal. But the agency swears that using malware was good because, well, the FBI had good intentions.
Some judges have actually ruled to throw out evidence obtained by the malware the FBI used on the basis that it did not have the proper warrants. (The DOJ and FBI just had a major breakthrough with the supreme court in modifying Rule 41, giving them expansive new hacking powers, but we’ll get to that in a second.) According to a legal brief filed by they FBI, “A reasonable person person or society would not interpret the actions taken by a law enforcement officer pursuant to a court order to be malicious.”