Evidence obtained under a warrant allowing FBI agents to search the dark web for visitors to a child pornography website is admissible, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit said Jan. 25.
The warrant was obtained and relied on in good faith, it said in an opinion by Judge Stephanie D. Thacker.
FBI agents received a tip about Playpen, a hidden message board on the dark web offering child pornography. The dark web is a collection of encrypted networks providing privacy protections for its users. Users must download an encrypted program to access it.
The agents were granted a warrant to deploy a program called the Network Investigative Technique to locate users accessing the website.
Robert McLamb was identified by NIT; agents then obtained a separate warrant for his home computer and found over 2700 child pornography images and videos.
The key in deciding whether to suppress evidence is the culpability of the law enforcement officers, the court said.
Here, there was no evidence that the issuing magistrate abandoned his judicial role, or the affidavit lacked indicia of probable cause, the court said. Neither was the warrant facially deficient, it said.
Agents also demonstrated good faith by consulting with DOJ before seeking the warrant, the court said.
Judges Allyson K. Duncan and Max O. Cogburn, sitting by designation, joined the opinion.
The Federal Public Defender’s Office, Norfolk, Va., represented McLamb. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Richmond, Va., represented the government.
The case is United States v. McLamb , 2018 BL 25448, 4th Cir., No. 17-4299, 1/25/18 .
To contact the reporter on this story: Bernie Pazanowski in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: C. Reilly Larson at email@example.com
Copyright © 2018 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)