Visit ArabTopics.com

The Feds Just Indicted a Man for Behaving Exactly Like the Feds

(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed) A few years ago, a popular meme asserted that “if you behaved like your government, you’d be arrested.”

A recent 16-count indictment issued by the Department of Justice against an Ohio man proves just that.

In a press release issued Wednesday, the DOJ announced it had indicted 28-year-old computer programmer Phillip R. Durachinsky for hacking “thousands of computers for more than 13 years in order to watch, listen to, and obtain personal data from unknowing victims.

Durachinsky is alleged to have “orchestrated a scheme to access thousands of protected computers owned by individuals, companies, schools, a police department, and the government, including one owned by a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The government claims he “developed computer malware later named ‘Fruitfly’ that he installed on computers and that enabled him to control each computer by accessing stored data, uploading files, taking and downloading screenshots, logging a user’s keystrokes, and turning on the camera and microphone to surreptitiously record images and audio. “

Further:

Durachinsky used the malware to steal the personal data of victims, including their logon credentials, tax records, medical records, photographs, banking records, Internet searches, and potentially embarrassing communications.  According to the indictment, Durachinsky used stolen logon credentials to access and download information from third-party websites.

Durachinsky is further alleged to have watched and listened to victims without their knowledge or permission and intercepted oral communications taking place in the room where the infected computer was located.”

Does any of this sound familiar? It should. The same federal government prosecuting the Ohio hacker has failed to prosecute its own agencies for doing the exact same things.

In one example, it’s worth noting that Durachinsky is facing child pornography charges, though the DOJ did not disclose specifically why. However, it’s also worth noting that the FBI has directly operated child pornography sites on multiple occasions… in the name of stopping child pornography.

However, the crux of charges against Durachinsky aligns more closely with the surveillance and activities of multiple government agencies.

Thanks to leaks by whistleblower Edward Snowden, it is public knowledge that the NSA has repeatedly violated fundamental rights to “watch, listen to, and obtain personal data from unknowing victims,” in the words of the DOJ in their indictment of Durachinsky.

In 2014, the New York Times reported that the NSA had “implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines.” Further, the outlet noted, “the N.S.A. has increasingly made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet.”

According to releases from Wikileaks, the CIA can also remotely access computers (and also spies on other agencies).

The NSA has also been revealed to be in possession of hacking tools, which it failed to secure. These tools ended up in the hands of other hackers.

The NSA has been exposed for granting itself remote access to cell phones and their microphones and cameras – even when the devices are turned off.

Using programs like PRISM, “the NSA bulk collect[s] internet communications from companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook,” Gizmodo summarized, explaining further that the program gave the agency “access to a vast amount of data, from records of Skype calls and Gchat logs to unflattering unposted selfies.

XKeyscore, another spying program, covers “’nearly everything a typical user does on the internet,’” including the content of emails, websites visited and searches, as well as their metadata,” the Guardian reported in 2013, directly citing a presentation from the agency. “Analysts can also use XKeyscore and other NSA systems to obtain ongoing ‘real-time’ interception of an individual’s internet activity,” the outlet explained.

Much of the agency’s spying is approved under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which also sweeps up communications of American citizens. Congress just approved a six-year extension of the controversial policy, declining to reform it despite widespread pleas.

The NSA can access medical records and has also monitored international banking transactions.

Despite the extensive privacy violations contained in these practices, no one within the government has been prosecuted — not even former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who misled the public about these activities. The USA Freedom Act, passed in 2015, purported to curtail surveillance but left many of these programs intact.

Yet First Assistant U.S. Attorney Sierleja of the Department of Justice said of Durachinsy:

This defendant is alleged to have spent more than a decade spying on people across the country and accessing their personal information.

For more than 13 years, Phillip Durachinsky allegedly infected with malware the computers of thousands of Americans and stole their most personal data and communications,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan. “This case is an example of the Justice Department’s continued efforts to hold accountable cybercriminals who invade the privacy of others and exploit technology for their own ends.

So far, the only action the DOJ has taken in relation to the government’s sweeping surveillance and hacking practices is to attempt to demonize and cage those who reveal the information.

This isn’t to suggest that Durachinsky was justified in hacking the private information and devices of unwitting individuals (or allegedly producing or facilitating child porn) — to the contrary. His case serves as a damning demonstration of the government’s power that when it receives an exemption on morality and accountability simply because it claims forcible authority through its institutions — whether it is conducting spying, killing, or theft.

Op-ed / Creative Commons / Anti-Media / Report a typo

Source: 
The Anti Media

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 12
John Pilger 407
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 27
Need To Know News 1378
FEE 2771
Marine Le Pen 208
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 423
Mohamed Omar 216
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 37
Angry Foreigner 15
Fritte Fritzson 11
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 64
Vetenskapsradion Historia 107
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 167
Les Crises 1636
Richard Falk 100
Ian Sinclair 71
SpinWatch 50
Counter Currents 5424
Kafila 320
Gail Malone 31
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 86
The Duran 6013
Vanessa Beeley 86
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 4226
Paul Craig Roberts 988
News Junkie Post 43
Nomi Prins 21
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 2989
Sir Ken Robinson 16
Stephan Kinsella 58
Liberty Blitzkrieg 765
Sami Bedouin 61
Consortium News 2047
21 Century Wire 2721
Burning Blogger 267
Stephen Gowans 66
David D. Friedman 125
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1436
Tom Dispatch 376
Levant Report 17
The Saker 3153
The Barnes Review 458
John Friend 346
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 135
New Eastern Outlook 2830
School Sucks Project 1722
Giza Death Star 1459
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 556
GMWatch 1655
Robert Faurisson 135
Espionage History Archive 34
Jay's Analysis 652
Le 4ème singe 86
Jacob Cohen 190
Agora Vox 9347
Cercle Des Volontaires 411
Panamza 1501
Fairewinds 103
Project Censored 676
Spy Culture 325
Conspiracy Archive 57
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 463
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 481
Independent Science News 65
The Anti Media 5030
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 258
The Mind renewed 205
Natural Society 2391
Yanis Varoufakis 766
Tragedy & Hope 121
Dr. Tim Ball 60
Web of Debt 120
Porkins Policy Review 324
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 543
Libyan War Truth 268
DeadLine Live 1895
Kevin Ryan 61
BSNEWS 1941
Aaron Franz 176
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 118
Dr. Bruce Levine 102
Peter B Collins 1281
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 9112
Climate Audit 219
Donna Laframboise 321
Judith Curry 1035
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 1855
Syria Report 70
Human Rights Investigation 90
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 9567
Laura Wells Solutions 17
Video Rebel's Blog 404
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 17030
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2556
Northerntruthseeker 1954
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4556
AntiWar.com Blog 2555
AntiWar.com Original Content 5863
Corbett Report 2008
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1077
Webster Tarpley Website 873

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public