The FBI did not act “outrageously” by taking control of a child pornography website for 13 days in an attempt to capture people who were using what authorities said was the largest site of its kind on the dark web, a judge has ruled, the International Business Times reports.
A man who was charged with child pornography crimes argued the FBI overstepped its authority by taking over the site and using a tool to identify IP and MAC addresses of people who were logging into Playpen.
“We consider [the FBI’s running of the child porn site] outrageous, because even if there is a legitimate argument for doing that as an investigatory need, which is not true, judges need to be able to decide if it is appropriate. And, frankly, we believe it is appalling,” a lawyer for Colin Fieman said, Motherboard reports.
The attorney accused the FBI of “aiding and abetting the uploading and distribution of massive amounts of child pornography.”
Judge Robert J. Bryan disagreed.
“I am not shocked by this. I did not find it outrageous,” the judge said.
“We are dealing with actions by law enforcement that were necessitated by the actions of the offenders choosing to use, and in fact misuse, technology in order to hide their identity while they sought to exploit and abuse children online,” Keith Becker from the Department of Justice Criminal Division, said.