arstechnica: To keep Tor hack source code secret, DOJ dismisses child porn case by Cyrus Farivar
DOJ: “Disclosure is not currently an option.”
Rather than share the now-classified technological means that investigators used to locate a child porn suspect, federal prosecutors in Washington state have dropped all charges against a man accused of accessing Playpen, a notorious and now-shuttered website.
The case, United States v. Jay Michaud, is one of nearly 200 cases nationwide that have raised new questions about the appropriate limitations on the government’s ability to hack criminal suspects. Michaud marks just the second time that prosecutors have asked that case be dismissed.
“The government must now choose between disclosure of classified information and dismissal of its indictment,” Annette Hayes, a federal prosecutor, wrote in a court filing on Friday. “Disclosure is not currently an option. Dismissal without prejudice leaves open the possibility that the government could bring new charges should there come a time within the statute of limitations when and the government be in a position to provide the requested discovery.”