Defense to judge: Make feds disclose hacking technique in child porn case or dismiss charges

Defense attorneys argue that a Wash. State federal court should not reconsider its ruling to compel the U.S. government to share its hacking technique in the Playpen child porn case.
Defense attorneys argue that a Wash. State federal court should not reconsider its ruling to compel the U.S. government to share its hacking technique in the Playpen child porn case.

More than two months after a federal judge ruled the U.S. must privately disclose the specific network investigative technique that the FBI used to identify patrons of the Tor-based child pornography site Playpen, lawyers for one of the accused have filed a motion urging the court to dismiss the case if the government does not comply or drop the charges.

The partially redacted document, filed yesterday with the U.S. District Court of Western Washington by attorneys representing defendant, Jay Michaud, repudiates the government's Mar. 28, 2016 motion to the court to reconsider its February decision to compel disclosure of the hack in order to independently assess its viability.

The defense's filing contends the U.S. already exhausted all of its arguments and has presented no new compelling facts to warrant reconsideration. Moreover, the defense argues that the government's stance against sharing its hacking technique with a security-cleared expert contradicts its position in the San Bernardino shooter case that Apple should have provided the government with access to a backdoor that bypasses iPhone security protections.

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