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Role of Modern Private Investigator

With the increasing crime rates in the country, it is important that we ourselves adopt some preventive measures so as to live a secured life.  It requires reliable and easily reachable services that can help in providing ultimate security. Here comes the role of a private investigator. There are many issues that an investigator deals with; they include area surveillance, child custody, and computer forensics and background investigations. The private investigators possess excellent approaches and effective skills to carry out all type of work which requires special attention to perform the work effectively. The Private investigators perform all their tasks confidentially by maintaining the privacy of information so that information does not leak out in any case.

Private Investigation

A private investigator helps you find documents that pertain to, government agencies’ filings, court records, property ownership records in connection with vehicle registrations, the authenticity of witness statements. Investigator means somebody who performs detailed examination and searches for the facts. Facts are needed to support a point somebody is attempting to make. Without these types of facts, the person may not be able to substantiate their point of view beyond the reasonable doubt. To help the individual prove their point beyond a reasonable doubt the work of a private investigator is vital, for through their efforts and skill in uncovering facts a point will be substantiated or fail to stand up.

So to put them together, the private investigator operates on behalf of individuals who need to prove their point of view to police groups or other governmental law enforcement services, when the individual lacks the skills to carry out the work themselves. Of course, private investigators are also called in by corporations who want to gather evidence on perhaps an employee or any other person. Insurance companies also use the services of private investigators if they suspect that a policyholder has made a fraudulent claim. The private investigator may spend months working on a case drawing together the facts that they will present to the people or organizations that employ them so that they can decide if their suspicions were justified or not. They are highly qualified, smartly trained and rich in intelligence. They have fine-tuned their researching skills to manipulate a variety of databases and know the ins and outs when it comes to accessing tPhe important records.

Private Investigation

Many of these private investigators often specialize in a particular field. Some may focus on intellectual property theft, for example, they help clients stop illegal activity, investigate and document acts of piracy, and provide intelligence for prosecution and civil action, where others may deal in developing financial profiles and asset searches. These investigators are always required to keep detailed notes, and they have to be prepared to testify in court regarding any of the investigations carried out by them. Private investigators assist attorneys, businesses, and the public, with legal, financial problems.

The team of investigators works for their clients with full attention to the case. They also collaborate with the police department and the law enforcement investigators when necessary, which will enable them to combined forces to achieve the goals. The main focus of their investigation is to find out the truth and thus bring criminal activities to justice. Hire the best private investigator by visiting us at www.icfeci.com. Get answer to all your queries with us.

THEN THEY CAME FOR ME

As a criminal investigator, I am sometimes called on to piece together the stories of those who cannot speak for themselves—the very young and the very old. I believe in the sanctity of life. A recent spate of cases I’ve worked, combined with an uptick in news coverage for these kinds of cases, has me worried. I wonder, are we heading down a slippery slope that will take us back in time to the dark days of the Holocaust?

criminal defense investigator

The inevitable question that is asked in abuse, neglect and death cases of the very young and very old is HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?

The Holocaust Museum, in Washington DC is a haunting and often disturbing look back in history. It’s a physical place that endeavors to answer the question with relics and artifacts. It does so much more. It challenges us to look at ourselves.

First, it’s important to understand that the slippery slope I mentioned above doesn’t start with a widespread killing mechanism. The Nazis started with sorting humanity in Germany and growing those programs in the countries that were subsequently conquered. At first there were simple charts, genealogy in nature. Your life had value if you could “prove” your “purity.” Next came medical examinations of hair and eye color. Something as common as brown eyes, or dark hair could lower your status.

The Nazis then determined who could serve in the military, and that was mandatory. The non-pure were sorted into two groups: those who could work, and those who could not. Those who could not work, included the elderly, sick and disabled.  The year was 1939, the program was dubbed  “T4”. And ultimately 90,000 disabled where euthanized. A mere 80 years ago.

From that point, the killing machine was in full force.  We know the end of the story.  The “Final Solution” ultimately killed 11,000,000 people.  Of course we know the tragic plight of the Jews , estimated at 6,000,000 deaths.  But the killing spread from the disabled, and very young, Jews, then Roma “gypsies”, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, ex-convicts, and others who resisted occupation (political dissidents).  Add in the Soviet prisoners of war, and the number exceeds a staggering 17,000,000. And, remember, it started with “mercy killings” of the disabled. (The Nazis even produced a propaganda film in which a German man kills his sick wife to encourage ordinary people to join the “cleaning” of the German race.)

A growing number of countries, including the US, have legalized assisted suicide. Although on the surface it seems reasonable to allow people who suffer from physical pain and diminished quality of life to end their lives, there is a recent shift in the “right to die” movement.  People with treatable and manageable conditions such as depression are making petitions to die. Some European countries have dealt with cases of rapists and murderers who want to die rather than face prison.

Here in the US, we face some troubling realities.  We are living longer. Our elderly are covered by Medicare, and this government insurance program approves and declines medical procedures on our aging population. Two startling statistics arise in consideration of care: 1) 5% of patients at the end of life consume 50% of the costs for Medicare, and 2) in the last 6 months of life, it’s estimated almost 30% of a person’s lifetime healthcare costs are spent. Are we at the point where cost considerations are the slippery slope I’ve mentioned?

I’m concerned also about so-called partial birth procedures. At what point do those go from voluntary  and used to spare a mother’s life to compulsory? I can see in the not-so-distant-future when, again, costs could mandate these lives aren’t cost effective.

It’s easy to say, I’m young and healthy. My insurance wouldn’t do that. The US appears to be moving to “Medicare for All.” If, and when, we become a single payer system, will all life be valued and protected? Or will we begin sorting ourselves?

German pastor Martin Niemoller wrote a poem called “First they came…”  It’s been edited and changed over the years, and originally was written to criticize the German intellectuals who did nothing as the Nazis began purging unwanted populations.

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I am not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Now, replace the words I bolded, with words that describe yourself, your friends, your religion, your politics, your race, etc. It’s a haunting reminder from just the last century.  Let’s never look back on our society and ask, “HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?”

I’m hopeful we can live in such a way that respects life. All we need do is live by the “do unto others” mantra, and vote for those representatives that will continue our collective respect for life. We must hold each other accountable for the least among us. I’ve already chosen to take a stand for the weak and broken in society. I’m hopeful you will stand with me.

Dangerous Digital Playground – Perverts, Pedophiles and Pimps ARE Hunting for Children

It’s an arduous task protecting children. After it’s too late, devastated parents want to know how their children could have been protected. As a criminal defense investigator, almost one-third of my cases involve sexual exploitation of children.  Sadly, I’ve handled more than 1600 these tragic situations. In the past, I’ve spoken to church and civic groups on this unsettling and disturbing topic.

Digital Forensics Expert

One example of a case that haunts me: I was asked to forensically examine a laptop belonging to a thirteen year old child. The laptop contained the typical social media platforms. Within those social media platforms were pictures, videos and text of an inappropriate and enticing nature, sent directly to the child. There were subsequent text messages and photo exchanges. The end result was tragic.

Everyone seems to understand the dangers of The Internet, and we know that there are plenty of websites that are inappropriate for minors. I want to be very clear. Fewer kids are using email and websites. That means, social media platforms are the playgrounds for perverts, pedophiles and pimps.

WHO?

I use the term “predator” to cover the “3 P’s” of the digital playground: perverts, pedophiles, and pimps.  I define perverts as those who derive sexual gratification from something that is illegal and/or outside the “norms” of society.  Pedophiles are bit more specific—adults who enjoy sexual acts with children. There are other, more specific classes of “-philes” that identify specific age groups of minors.  And, the pimps? These are the “entrepreneurs” of the dark world of sex crimes.  Motivated by money, they profit from their illegal sexual “business.” To keep it simple, I’ll call them predators.

Predators hunt.

Minor children (male and female) are being targeted by predators (male and female). It’s not just opposite sexes to be concerned about. An older female (even an older teen) will befriend a younger girl on social media.  The same is true for boys. This has nothing to do with a child’s sexual orientation. To a predator, a child is an “object,” not a person.

WHAT?

Predators are seeing to “groom” (introduce, foster and normalize) children into sexual activity.  Although many believe this is limited to actual physical sexual acts, it’s much broader and complicated than that. Predators seek photos and videos of children dressed, naked, and “taking direction.” Once a child is groomed into a sexualized situation, the predator has opened the door to personal contact.  This can be a “date” (in the predator’s mind), but I’m seeing any contact feeding human trafficking.  Children are bought, sold, and traded across jurisdictions for sex.

WHERE?

These tragedies are happening across the US, and all over the world. If a community has cell towers, computers, and digital devices—the predators are already there. We have a tendency to think, “This could never happen here.”  It’s happening.  It’s already happened.  And, it will happen again.

WHEN?

Cellphones, tablets  and any type of computer (including game systems) are “open” 24//7. Predators are hunting for children every morning, noon, and night.

HOW?

Most predators make outbound contact with a potential victim on a social media platform by “liking” or commenting on a topic or photo your child is interested in.  Frequently called a “DM” (direct message), the predator will often contact a child via the platform’s messaging plug in features. The messages often start with humor, or a subject a child has expressed interest in via a “fan page,” group, or “friend of a friend.” As I said above, these people are experts in children. From the initial contact, the predators often encourage children to download other apps, such as WhatsApp, SnapChat, or others.  (Predators mistakenly believe these apps are 100% private.) Once contact is established, the process of grooming a child for exploitation begins. Within a few messages, these predators can convince many children to send photos, video, and identifying data.

WHY?

This is the most asked questions by the families of victims. It’s also the hardest to answer. The bottom line is this, some people are evil.

There are people that are sexually attracted to children. There is no polite way to convey this concept. We can indulge in long theoretical discussion of “if” these people were once victimized.  But, the bottom line is this is a horrific crime.

And, the emerging reality—exploitation of children is a business for some predators.  There are people on social media, both male and female, that are actively “recruiting” children into prostitution and human trafficking.  They “pimp” (sell or rent) a minor, male or female for sexual purposes, for money. The bottom line is this, exploitation of children is a crime.

CONCLUSION:

Next time as an adult, you receive a message to be friends, and the messages have inappropriate materials, know that your children are receiving the same. Yes.  This IS happening if your child is on social media. My advice is this: Social media is not the place for children!  If your child must be on social media, monitor what they are doing.

As technology continues to change and expand at a breakneck pace, we have to be vigilant regarding social media. As quick as I can type, there are new websites, apps and social media platforms being released every day.  Know what’s on your home computers, your children’s phones and other devices, and keep the communication in your home flowing both ways.  This is an important topic, and we will circle back around to additional specific strategies in the very near future.`

Invisible Wall – Correction – A strong Social Barrier

The topic of a wall is on everyone’s mind right now. Regardless of anything the President and Congress build, make no mistake—we already have a wall. The wall I’m thinking of is a societal wall, and it’s massive yet invisible. This wall is a strong social barrier. It cannot be climbed, penetrated or tunneled under.

Criminal Investigations

I bump up against this wall, too.  As a court-appointed Private investigator for criminal defendants, I see a part of society that most never will. I work for the sick, tired, poor and uneducated. Most of my clients came from unimaginable squalor, and continue to live in poverty and hopelessness that’s hard to grasp.  I see how their children suffer from the sins of their mothers and fathers. Make no mistake. The people I represent are considered a menace to society. They are desperate but gave up have stopped looking for jobs long ago. They hit the invisible wall, time and time again. At some point, their lives took a turn. I ask myself what keeps them there?

Long ago, I came up with a prayer, a mantra of sorts to help me stay focused. “Help me help myself so that I may help others.”

There is loud clamor to the south of our boarders. It extends deep into the lives of the people I’m hired to assist in criminal cases. As I peel back the layers of the lives of my clients, all I see is chaos. Eventually, though, most of the children and adults will be forced into crimes, gangs, prostitution and mental conditions. They have no hope in their native countries! But what about here, in the greatest nation? Should they have hope here?

Migrants, be they immigrants or refugees, want for a better life.  Some say we are a country of immigrants and that we have a special duty to those new residents. Others say no. That’s this bigger invisible wall I’m talking about.

Here is the question I ask often: Do we have an obligation to provide them with a place in America and give them opportunity to participate in the dream?

I figured that they want a better life and deserve a chance. That could, and should happen before they meet me. These are lost and forgotten residents.  Hidden, perhaps, behind the invisible wall.

Why don’t we do something? 

The courts and commissioners know who’s here, yet nothing is done. Their priorities are elsewhere, could be south, or making sanctuary cities helping immigrants.

That leaves us.  We must do, individually, what we can.

As they have for generations, I hope the legal migrants continue coming to American for a better life.  Also, I hope that we can help our forgotten citizens meaningfully participate in our society.

Why Is It Essential to Hire a Business Fraud Investigator in Your Company?

Corporate fraud is a widespread problem within some businesses.  Advanced technology has changed the business world. In every country business frauds are happening. In some cases, fraud can go on for years before someone realizes and notices the situation. On a large scale with greater numbers involved, it is easier to cover up any sort of trace which may include; tax evasion, money laundering or financial reports, to solve these issues you may need to hire a fraud investigator. A business consists of Professionals, clients, and customers who are able to work globally. Business fraud can happen internally, among employees you trusted.  It can also happen externally from competitors who are attempting to throw a wrench into your finely tuned system.

Fraud Investigations

If you suspect business fraud, then secure your livelihood and all your employees, by taking essential steps to begin a business fraud investigation immediately. The term business Investigation encompasses a variety of services for completely unrelated and diverse businesses.

Why should you take immediate steps for a Business Fraud Investigation?

Fraud is very harmful to the growth of the business. It consists of any illegal act, the concealment of the act, and the deriving of a benefit like converting the gains to cash or other valuable commodities. Starting work a private business fraud investigation team gives you room to be stressed out about this very serious issue without having your feelings and emotions impede the investigation. Every case that a private investigator handles is different. The basic structure of a corporate case is speaking with executives or employees that suspect fraud and find out the details. They are equipped with the tools, knowledge, and experience to approach a highly charged and potentially very critical situation. Once the problem is pinpointed, whether it’s the losses over the last few years, unexplained financial records, or missing documents, the investigator will begin the organizing process. There is a process involved in gathering information, converting it into intelligence and then utilizing this in business decision making.

Fraud investigations

The basic structure of fraud investigations is trying to establish what people know so far and how they know it. Once the investigator and relevant members from the business they are working to establishing what is happening they need to try and work out the time scale in which the fraud has been happening. They can back trace this by checking any recent loses, missing documents or unexplained financial records. The investigator will have to analyze each set of evidence given and try to build a picture before he commences surveillance.

Why hire ICFECI as your Business Fraud Investigation?

Dan James, the Certified Fraud Examiner, can handle the white collar crime pertaining to:

  •  Health and insurance fraud
  • Securities, mortgage, bribery, and cases of public corruption
  • Bank fraud and bankruptcy frauds
  • Ponzi schemes
  • Tax frauds

At ICFECI, we are committed to helping defendants wrongly accused of fraud involving the most complex and complicated cases. We will be happy to help you. Contact us for all your business fraud cases.

How to Benefit From Cyber Forensic Services?

Cybercrime is the crime committed by using the computer on the internet. The Internet is being utilized for committing a serious and heinous crime. The scope is very vast because these crimes are committed at the large scale to discourage the military of a country and at the same time, these crimes are able to weaken the strength of a country by mishandling the countries intelligence or illegally selling the intelligence to enemy country. Cybercrime has become a bigger threat to the confidentiality and secrecy of an individual, a group, business or a country.

Cyber Forensic Services

This is the use of corrupt and criminal activities towards any individual, group, business or a country, by using computer and internet. These crimes are committed to retrieving the secret and confidential intelligence and vital information or by sending the fake emails of any terror attack or threat motive. These crimes are used as the weapon to carry out the serious crime and trace of the criminal or crime location is almost impossible. So criminals fearlessly and daringly go for committing huge crimes and there is the least or no possibility of catching the criminals.

Cyber Forensic Service to control cyber Crimes

Whenever cybercrimes are committed, cyber forensic services enter the scene and try to sniff out the clues and help in catching the culprits. Computer forensic has become one of the fastest growing fields for information security and law enforcement. Use of this has become essential for every cybercrime investigation. The expert cyber investigators with a thorough knowledge of disk structure and commercial software are able to investigate the cybercrimes. Police are becoming cybercrime savvy and hiring expert cybercrime investigators that are trained in the area. A series of initiatives are continuing in computer forensics and cyber law procedures are established to give the desired resulted out of it.

Digital Forensics Expert

Regardless of the nature or size of business, the flow and security of the organization’s information are of utmost importance. It needs to be protected and managed just like any assets. And just like any worldly assets, they attract perpetrators. When information is leaked or stolen, the perpetrators must be identified and prosecuted. To protect information assets, organizations require well-trained cyber forensic professionals capable of addressing three key issues: managing information; protecting information; and forensic investigation of information security incidents. Cyber forensics specialists are at the edge of the management, protection and forensic investigation of information security.

A cyber forensic expert is competent in data recovery and encryption because data and passwords are the targets of information theft. Depending on the nature of cases and crime committed, the experts are comfortable to work on mobile phones, PDA’s, USB drives, media players, etc. cyber forensic services mainly include the area of function like retrieve hidden, erased, and destroyed data from computers, mobile phones, laptops, USBs, and other storage and computing devices.

The main benefits of cyber forensic services include enhanced risk management, increased productivity, increased profitability, and enhanced customer confidence etc.

New Era of Computer Forensics to Data Recovery Easily

In this increasingly digital world, computers and mobile phones allow us to complete a range of processes wherever we are in the world, such as checking our bank balance, uploading photographs and chatting with our friends. Unfortunately, there are some individuals who illegally take advantage of this technology, using it to aid them in a variety of criminal activities. In criminal cases, it is vital that a computer forensic professional analyses digital data found on these devices, to help the police to maintain the chain of evidence between the device and those involved to the crime.

Digital Forensics Expert

Computer forensics is a much wider conception and theory which investigates the transgressions upon computers by virus or cybercriminals. Several acts have been brought into force in order to monitor the criminal activities, yet there are a lot more that still exist. It is very difficult to uncover such activities due to lack of enough proof or substantiation. All these complex situations can be controlled with the assistance of computer forensics. They search for and through both existing and previously existing, or deleted data. Forensic software can help in the data recovery process. They can retrieve data in relation to a crime, and obviously, the culprit does not want the data to be found.

The key dictum of computer forensic specialists is to not simply find the illicit but to also find the facts and evidence. The arrangement of the substantiation is done in a manner that leads the criminal to face legal action.

Digital Forensics Expert

The need for computer forensics expert becomes all the more important when one considers the fact that the only data that matters is in electronic form. Along with some useful information he can uncover gigabytes of other information that has no relevance on the case. It is for him to resurrect and reconstruct data and extract only the meaningful part, all done using a method that does not tamper or alter the original data in the system in any way. This calls for specialized techniques, use of a well-equipped lab and knowledge.

Knowledge of extraction of meaningful data is, of course, a prime consideration but what is more important is that the computer forensic professional also has full knowledge of the law and be able to extract and present evidence in a way that is acceptable in court. Cybercrime today is not limited to one geographic location. Computer Forensics makes it easy for the controlled, structured and cautious detection of offense and misuse cases. The computer forensics specialists possess adequate knowledge of data retrieval software as well as hardware technicalities and should have the skill and experience to execute the job.

Cyber Forensic Services

Computer forensics specialists conduct a structured investigation, documenting evidence that enables the court to determine what has happened to the IT system – and who is responsible for it. They investigate the identity or identification of the offender, the period and extent of the crime, and information on the motivation and execution of the crime. They can recover all types of data.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be criminals

vm escape
Let’s put this simply to begin: you don’t want your children to search the deep web or dive in the dark net. These would be, generally speaking, bad things.
In recent years, though, it’s gotten progressively easier to hide on the dark web. The code for The Onion Router (TOR) is getting a revamp in 2017, with the goal being stronger encryption — and letting administrators easily create full dark net sites that can only be discovered by a long string of essentially-unguessable characters. This could signal a next generation of hidden services. In the past, some of these sites have used a .onion address and declared that to hidden service directories. Now, it appears there will be an unique cryptographic key, and said key will be given to TOR hidden service directories. It’ll be a way for the dark net to become a bit easier to stay dark.
In the context of all this, how do you best protect your family? While some dark net sites are primarily in existence to avoid censorship in countries like China, there is a lot of non-family-friendly material on the dark web. You don’t want your children seeing a good portion of this content. How do you ensure that?
There is a fine line in these discussions, because it does involve some monitoring of your children’s activity online — and some parents don’t want to cross that line. But because of an increasing amount of pedophiles and illegal drugs on the dark web, vigilance is crucial. Some approaches include:
  • Be aware of what your kids search for/talk about with their friends
  • Check with their school to see how Internet research is being taught and monitored
  • Use the right software and trackers (I can be asked about some good options if you’d like)
  • Talk to them about the different types of content one comes across on the web
  • Explain to them explicitly what the dark web is vs. the “normal” web
  • Talk to them about the realities of cyber-bullying, which often occurs in dark web formats
Also bad, although less-discussed: many students use the dark web to cheat their way through high school, so have realistic discussions with your kids about what is happening in all their classes and how they view it contextually. If they don’t have good answers or backgrounds about what they’re learning, ask how they’re completing some of their work. If they stumble over those answers, there’s a chance dark web sites might be involved — and then you know it’s time to look at their histories.

Why I like Forensic ToolKit (FTK)

James FTK

Sometimes I get asked what software I use most in computer forensics. I promise I’m not a paid spokesperson here, but I’m a big fan of AccessData’s Forensic Toolkit (FTK). I’ve been using different versions since about 2001, and I consider it the primary workhorse in my forensic tool arsenal. The current version is 6.1, which was released in October 2016. (Well, it’s the current one as of the initial posting of this article in February 2017.)

A couple of the key aspects of FTK I enjoy:

Multiple installations: FTK can be installed on multiple computers. To operate on a specific computer, you need a security dongle that you physically attach to that computer. If you want to work on another computer that has FTK installed, though, you can move the dongle and do it — it’s very easy. A lot of computer forensics programs don’t make this easy, which I think is one of the bigger value-adds of the FTK software.

Consistent search results: If you’re in the investigating phase or performing document review — and if you’re searching in FTK or a program like Summation — you can get consistent search results delivered quickly. This is a huge time-saver.

Fairly simple: With so many different tools on the market (for anything, really), I keep coming back to the idea that simplicity is key. FTK is powerful, but it’s deceptively simple. For example: all digital evidence gets shared in one case database. Anyone who needs to access the information has it all in one place. With some other forensics programs, there are multiple datasets — which increases the time and complexity you need to deal with, especially if you’re looping new people or new teams into the process.

Support and training: Their training and support options are world-class.

Visualization: We supposedly live in this era of “Big Data,” which I think is mostly true. But one of the things we miss about Big Data is that when we’ve put together lots of information, we still need a way to present it to people effectively. Many human beings are visual creatures, which makes the visualization aspect of FTK a huge value-add. I can automatically construct timelines and graphically illustrate relationships among parties of interest in a case; I can also use cluster graphs, pie charts, and geolocations. When I’m done with the different visualizations, I can then generate reports that are easily consumed by attorneys, CIOs or other investigators. This is absolutely amazing — and makes the back-and-forth aspect of this work much easier.

That’s my vote, then: FTK. I’ve been around it almost two decades and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Had a different experience with FTK, or have another forensics program you want to extol the virtues of? I’d love to hear.

Do users have a reasonable expectation of privacy on TOR?

On January 26, 2017, I testified in Federal court as an expert witness for the defense in a case.
The testimony was regarding The Onion Router (TOR), Dark Net, and Playpen.  The case involved Network Investigative Technique (NIT); the FBI had engaged in their Operation Pacifier, wherein, a Search and Seizure Warranted allowed FBI to seize and operate the server that hosted Playpen.  The FBI had then employed NIT to place Malware on the computer of visitors to the server that hosted Playpen.
I’ve testified in other cases before, but this was an interesting one because it brought up a lot of questions that are paramount for the current era. Namely: when a computer user uses TOR, do they have an expectation of privacy? Is that legally relevant? And should the general public look at TOR and assume an expectation of privacy?
Ultimately, the judge in this case (and others) said that users don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy on TOR. VICE explained this in a recent article too. The judge’s ruling was, in part, predicated on the idea that users give their IP address to connect to TOR; thus, the judge said, the IP address is “public information that … eventually would have been discovered.”
Now, the law is one of the slower-moving entities in terms of reacting to, and understanding, technology. I’ve seen this for years. In true form, then, they missed the boat on the TOR ruling. Users do reveal their IP address via a guard node when they log on, yes. But then TOR bounces data around the globe via different nodes, so no ISP can correlate which IP address is visiting which site.
You can technically identify a specific TOR user with advanced traffic correlation protocols, but to do so you’d have to control a massive number of nodes. It’s virtually impossible. The judge’s ruling seems to indicate that the government would have found another way to get IP addresses from TOR users, but then doesn’t talk about how that could have possibly happened. In fact, in this case the only reason the FBI was using NIT to begin with was because it couldn’t find another way to determine the true users of hidden sites.
I’m not going to come out and say that I’m a huge fan of TOR — some legitimately bad stuff happens on there hourly. But TOR users should have a legitimate expectation of privacy, and the general public should assume that expectation as well. Part of this is because people don’t understand how TOR works, and part is because of hyper-sensitivity these days around privacy issues as mobile and digital continue to scale globally. But there absolutely should be a legitimate expectation of privacy on TOR networks.