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Operation Trojan Shield


So the FBI indicted the creator of an encrypted messaging service, and entered a cooperation with the creator of its natural market successor.


I am baffled by the scale and brilliance of this operation. Just the fact that they've strategically eliminated competition on the marketplace by arresting them, and thereby driven their user bases towards Anom (the FBI controlled product). They further increased Anom's market share by diligently listening to user feedback to improve the product.


My biggest worry when I read the first articles on this was that I suspected a lack of judicial oversight. I've been watching a crime series lately where one of the characters expertly social engineers his way into lots of places ("we don't need a warrant; they invited me!"), and I suspected that something like that was in play here. It turns out that the busts were planned at the time they were because of time limitations statutes on wiretapping permissions. This indicates that they've gone through all the bureaucratic hoops and rituals to stay on clear legal footing. In dozens of countries.


I would like to stop here for a minute and just let you consider the following:


Dozens of national authorities have cooperated, with all the cultural differences and jurisdiction pissing contests and differences in legal frameworks that this entails. The legal complexity of this is staggering. The organisational and logistic complexity is mind-boggling.

The FBI has proven to be a ruthlessly talented player on the IT market, using moves that other actors can not legally conduct (eliminating competition by arrests) and proving itself to be an adaptable, agile and capable competitor.


Wow. I am impressed. Very impressed. Well done, FBI, Interpol, Europol, and all the others involved.


But.


What are privately owned corporations doing to us all using skills and tools like these, but more advanced and less regulated?


-- CC0 ew0k, 2021-06-08

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