Apr 242013
 
 April 24, 2013  Posted by  Court, Surveillance

Cyrus Farivar reports:

A federal magistrate judge has denied (PDF) a request from the FBI to install sophisticated surveillance software to track someone suspected of attempting to conduct a “sizeable wire transfer from [John Doe’s] local bank [in Texas] to a foreign bank account.”

Back in March 2013, the FBI asked the judge to grant a month-long “Rule 41 search and seizure warrant” of a suspect’s computer “at premises unknown” as a way to find out more about this possible violations of “federal bank fraud, identity theft and computer security laws.”

In an unusually-public order published this week, Judge Stephen Smith slapped down the FBI on the grounds that the warrant request was overbroad and too invasive.

Read more on Ars Technica.

Judge Smith recently commented on his case load for federal requests vs. his colleagues. One might think that federal prosecutors and law enforcement are avoiding him as he tends to set higher standards for approving warrants or requests.  This latest opinion may be another case in point.

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