Authorities Drop Child Porn Charges Against Suspect to Protect Secret Hacking Code

Authorities Drop Child Porn Charges Against Suspect to Protect Secret Hacking Code

Authorities have chosen to drop all the child pornography cases against a suspect, Jay Michaud in what many believe to be a tactic by the federal government to avoid disclosing the code that it used to access child porn sites.

Writing in a court filing, Annette Hayes, one of the federal prosecutors involved in the now famous, United States vs. Jay Michaud said that the government had decided to drop all the charges of child pornography against the suspect.

‘Dropping all the charges means that the government still has the option of bringing up fresh charges against the suspect at some other time in the future when it seems appropriate and it is within the law to do so,’ she said.

The case, which has generated a lot of controversies, is among more than 200 cases related to child pornography that the federal government is currently handling.

Recently, government agencies accessed Playpen, a well-known child pornography website, and accessed the IP addresses of hundreds of individuals who were accessing the site at the time.

During the much-publicised burst of the site, the government agencies secretly hijacked the site and kept it in operation for a few weeks.

The agents then used what they later called, ‘Network Investigative Tool’ to unmask the IP addresses, and thus the identities, of the individuals who were actively using the site at the time.

The Network Investigative Code enabled government agents to successfully hack into the accounts of the persons visiting the site.

During the time, users who were hiding behind complicated TOR system lost their IP addresses and identities to the government agents.

Interestingly, it is the code that the government used to hack into the accounts of the visitors to the child porn site that it at the centre of the current controversy.

Recently, judges asked the government to fully disclose the methods that it used to access the IP addresses of the more than 135 individuals that it is accusing of having visited the child pornography site.

It appears that the government, fearing that it would lose the code to criminals and hackers, decided to drop the charges against the suspect in this particular case.

It is not known what will happen during the hearing of the other cases. Many cybersecurity experts have questioned the ethics of the government hacking into the accounts of suspects.