Vanessa Blum reports on U.S. v. Collins, a case involving Anonymous’s attacks on PayPal in retaliation for not permitting donations to WikiLeaks. One of the interesting – and important – issues that has arisen is the extent to which prosecutors really need to purge and/or return material and files on seized computers that are not necessary to their prosecution. Is it inconvenient and time-consuming to do all that? Yes, but if the approval of a warrant was based on that assurance, then darn it, shouldn’t they do it? Blum reports:
More than a year after federal agents arrested 14 people accused in a cyberattack on PayPal, the high-profile prosecution has ground to a standstill over the handling of computers seized in the investigation.
Searches carried out in a dozen states targeted computers, hard drives and other digital devices, resulting in an avalanche of electronic material for investigators to sift through.
But intermingled with potential evidence of a crime were millions of irrelevant files, like emails, photographs, medical records, downloaded articles, Internet search histories and old tax returns.
Just how far prosecutors must go to segregate and purge such extraneous material is a question that could derail the federal hacking case and test the limits judges place on electronic searches.
Read more on Law.com.
Photo credit: Anonymous – We are legion by Sweet Peas Photography