I Click, Therefore I Am

It seems the courts disagree, but the FBI’s new method of rounding up child porn suspects sounds an awful lot like entrapment to me.

The FBI has recently adopted a novel investigative technique: posting hyperlinks that purport to be illegal videos of minors having sex, and then raiding the homes of anyone willing to click on them.

Undercover FBI agents used this hyperlink-enticement technique, which directed Internet users to a clandestine government server, to stage armed raids of homes in Pennsylvania, New York, and Nevada last year. The supposed video files actually were gibberish and contained no illegal images.

A CNET News.com review of legal documents shows that courts have approved of this technique, even though it raises questions about entrapment, the problems of identifying who’s using an open wireless connection–and whether anyone who clicks on a FBI link that contains no child pornography should be automatically subject to a dawn raid by federal police.

It worries me that so far no judge has had the good sense to see all of the flaws in this plan. Just think, with this kind of trickery becoming a valid criminal busting technique, the possibilities are virtually endless. Click on a link giving information about so-called terrorist groups, you must be a terrorist. Click on an anti-government website, you’re either a terrorist or otherwise a threat to national security and need to be rendered post-haste. Click on what appears to be a torrent, you’re suddenly a thief, because everybody knows that that kind of technology is reserved specifically for dirty pirate scum who want nothing more than free music and movies.

What this is is an easy no work required method of arresting people dreamed up by folks too lazy or too stupid to be able to do any of the hard work that goes with the job. If the justice system has any sense at all and yes I’m aware that’s a mighty big if, they’ll put a stop to this. I can only hope that they’ll do so before the courts become hopelessly clogged with the wrongfully convicted.

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