Hypocrisy Exposed: The FBI Blindly Hacked Computers In Russia, China And Iran

Tyler Durden's picture

As we've said before, US accusations that countries like China and Russia run sophisticated hacking operations designed to infiltrate sensitive US networks are often hypocritical. After all, we do the exact same thing.

Today, the Daily Beast reported on newly unsealed documents that show the FBI blindly hacked into computers in Russia, China and Iran during a wide ranging investigation that lead to the bust of a global child pornography operation and the liberation of sexual abuse victims.

As the Daily Beast explains...

During a hacking operation in which U.S. authorities broke into thousands of computers around the world to investigate child pornography, the FBI hacked a number of targets in Russia, China, and Iran, The Daily Beast has learned.


The news signals the bold future of policing on the so-called dark web, where investigators are increasingly deploying malware without first knowing which country their suspect is located in. Legal experts and commentators say the approach of blindly kicking down digital doors in countries not allied with the U.S. could lead to geopolitical fallout.

The case centers around the FBI’s 2015 Operation Pacifier investigation into a website called Playpen. Playpen was a site on the dark web where pedophiles could share child pornography. So, when a foreign law-enforcement agency found Playpen’s administrators were running the site from the US, the FBI seized Playpen’s server. Instead of shutting the site down straight away, however, the FBI moved it to a government facility and kept Playpen operational for 13 days.

During this time, the Bureau deployed what it describes as a network investigative technique - a computer exploit and piece of malware—to break into Playpen users’ computers and grab identifying information; most importantly, their IP address. Armed with this, the FBI could subpoena internet service providers to reveal who had accessed Playpen. It’s a digital equivalent of an FBI squad picking the lock of a private residence, collecting evidence, and taking it back to headquarters.

In all, the FBI hacked over 8,000 computers in 120 countries, includingacross South America, Europe, and in the U.S. too. The operation led to hundreds of arrests, as well as the identification and rescue of hundreds of victims of child abuse, according to the FBI’s own figures.


However, something the FBI has kept quiet and has not previously been reported, is the Bureau also hacked computers in countries that have a particularly volatile relationship with the U.S, especially around issues of malicious hacking, “including Russia, Iran, and China,” according to a recently filed court record.

The FBI justifies these types of intrusions as necessary when foreign law enforcement is slow to cooperate or not receptive to the intelligence presented.

“Some foreign countries are very slow to act on the information that they receive because it has to go through official diplomatic channels,” FBI Special Agent Daniel Alfin said during testimony in a related case, without specifying the countries.

However, it’s unlikely Germany or the UK - let alone Russia or Iran - would readily excuse evidence of cyber intrusions by the US, should they discover it.

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RafterManFMJ's picture

I find it hard to believe anybody in the US government could be accused of hypocrisy!

Sudden Debt's picture

I think it's funny not a single idiot has ever opened up his mouth about the fact that the US spies on it's own citizens and Allies.

In all, the only thing that can be said if Russia did actually do it is that it's clear that the US managed to turn everybody in the world an ENEMY who has reasons not to trust the US or do something against the US.



peopledontwanttruth's picture

I wonder if Lee Greenwood could still come up with the words to his song
"I'm Proud to be an American", seeing this show today?

What a mockery this country has become on every level from the sports of the likes of the NFL, the comic show of the two party's in DC, the banksters to industries Chanel Stuffing, to the inner cities breeding derelicts who can't read and count past their fingers and toes, ect... it's over

Justin Case's picture

Washington recklessly accuses Russia and China of hacking while providing no evidence backing its claims.

At the same time, it’s silent about most Internet servers located in America, facilitating its espionage, including hacking to obtain unauthorized data. Washington rules mandate doing what “we” say, not what “we” do.

Russian Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev explained the problem, saying “(w)e have been fixing growing attempts from external forces to damage Russian information systems. Those are cases of hacking, and also unauthorized collection of data.”

“This is done with active involvement of global operators and providers, and the methods used are constantly evolving.”

Trader200K's picture

It's over.

In the Clinton Archipelago yes.

Go Galt.

Anarchyteez's picture

Surprise surprise surprise.

Gomer Pyle

BlindMonkey's picture

Foreign pizza apparently interests the FBI.  They could give a flying fuck about domestic pizza, at least in DC.

NickyGall's picture

Here is a fascinating look at yet another Washington-based obsession with Russia that hasn't been covered by the mainstream media:





Apparently, Washington just can’t get its fill of Russians.

Billy the Poet's picture

I was going to follow that link but I'm feeling especially insouciant today.

NoWayJose's picture

If it is not obvious by now - a 'home' PC is totally unprotected! Junk it! Or never buy it!

Winston Churchill's picture

Ther is no security or privacy with any computer.

Buy Bitcoin,its safe, honest.

VWAndy's picture

 Turns out Hypocrisy is a form of government also.

East Indian's picture

Kaspersky spies for the Russian government! Ban it!



Seriously, you must tell the remaining story of the Playpen; FBI not only took over the website covertly, they put more horrible child porn than the Playpen owners themselves were doing! They egged on the users to post their own nasty stuff; one fellow obliged, and was arrested; but the judge threw the case out because FBI essentially instigated him to it. 

Create a criminal and eliminate him so that your pay is justified. Typical of paid law enforcement. 

BlindMonkey's picture
He should have been shot and hung up on a pike. 
FIAT CON's picture

Similar to the first world trade centre b--.om,b ,ing

uhland62's picture

Everybody spies on everyone, said Michael Hayden. Nothing anybody can do about it.  

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Only the ones that didn't fucking matter or were "honey pots"!

Schmuck Raker's picture

Lucky China isn't Waco.

Could have been worse.

MuffDiver69's picture

Substitute child whatever with whatever and it’s a ticket to ride...I believe a certain percent of this disgusting child garbage is planted...

Reaper's picture

Trust a government hack and a prosecutor with a 95+% conviction rate?    In example with fingerprints: http://www.nytimes.com/1993/07/30/nyregion/police-investigation-supervis...

SmittyinLA's picture

The FBI used the kiddie porn for political blackmail more than prosecutions.

ISEEIT's picture

Mushrooms coming up soon here in the peoples republic of seattle.

Can't hardly wait.

wisebastard's picture

i bet it was not blindly.....they were looking for them tig ol bitties

HoyeruNew's picture

so the FBI is THE BIGGEST distributor of CP on the Internet. Guess they are making sure they have jobs.

Wait, this reminds me how the CIA is the biggest smuggler of drugs into USA. Funny huh? Well it IS funny aint it???

Reaper's picture

What happens to the FBI, if the FBI succeeds in significantly reducing crime?   

rejected's picture

As we've said before, US accusations that countries like China and Russia run sophisticated hacking operations designed to infiltrate sensitive US networks are often hypocritical.

Most everything the US does is hypocritical.

Instead of shutting the site down straight away, however, the FBI moved it to a government facility and kept Playpen operational for 13 days.

Actually they operated it from February 20 to May 4. Seems a little longer than 13 days to me but hey, whatever. 


cbxer55's picture

You forget that February only has 28 days. 29 in leap years, like last year. So, from Feb. 20th to May 4th is exactly 13 days.

Use your fingers. Feb 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, May 1, 2, 3 ,4. 

Wile E. Coyote, SUPER GENIUS!

yellowsub's picture

And let's hope Playpen wasn't run by a US agency...

RightLineBacker's picture

Our Criminal Justice system has become totally corrupted and is beyond normal avenues for repair.

Shut down the DOJ, FBI, CIA, NSA and the other 15, or so, spy agencies. Fire all of their employees and blackball the employees forever from Government and Government contractors jobs.

Then create a new policing structure that stays within our Constitutional restraints staffed by employees that swear a blood oath to never violate our laws with the death penalty for any and all violations.

For a start. Then We the People can turn to the problems with our totally corrupted elected hoodlums and their lobbyists.

onmail1's picture

And what about Stuxnet

USA & I$rael r cyber terrorists


g3h's picture

The United States represent good. The world is full of evil. We simmply exercise our right to protect America and humanity.

When Russia does this to us, it's attack of evil on the good. Total moral opposite.


rejected's picture

What are you smoking,,, must be some really good shit...

cbxer55's picture

Same shit you were smoking when you said from Feb. 20th to May 4th is longer than 13 days.  ;-)

Gohigher's picture

The United States' general population, dumb-fucked as they may be, represents mostly good. The USSA's .GOV is full of evil.

Man, must be the first Deca-dose Chiba Chew, eh?

FIFY, but just this 420 time once, ok?

FIAT CON's picture

The murikin /gov is lawfull, the rest of us are not.

CatsPaw's picture

More than Hypocrasy its projection.

We do it so they must be doing it too.

shutterbug's picture

USA government: YOU can only - do - what we say you may do...

YOU may certainly NOT do what we do ....

Total hypocrisy ... but what else can we expect from a country full with hypocrites?? Looking @ democrats, SJWs, Feminists etc etc

1 Alabama's picture

this country's gvt is pitiful

Gohigher's picture

RIGGHHTTTT .......the Federal Bureau of Incompetent Progressive Imbeciles were "looking" for child porn overseas..Blindly.

Washington DC.gov, K-Street, Wall Street and Langley have all the evil porn of every type any Satan would be proud of....