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Judge Rejects Defense Motion Stating Silk Road was Illegally Hacked by FBI

US New York District Court Judge Katherine Forrest has rejected defense lawyer’s Ross Ulbricht motion that claimed the FBI illegally hacked the Silk Road server without a warrant and so violated Ulbricht’s Fourth Amendment rights, according to Wired.

The motion was rejected due to Ulbricht’s failure to fully demonstrate that the Silk Road server belonged to him, thus losing the standing to make any privacy rights violation claims, even if the FBI did hack the Silk Road server.

“He has failed to take the one step he needed to take to allow the Court to consider his substantive claims regarding the investigation: he has failed to submit anything establishing that he has a personal privacy interest in the Icelandic server or any of the other items imaged and/or searched and/or seized,” said Judge Katherine Forrest.

Now the hard part for Ulbricht is that if he would have claimed the server’s ownership he would have probably incriminated himself. He didn’t make such claims, even if in the pre-trial statement he could have and it couldn’t have been be used against him.

“Defendant could have established such a personal privacy interest by submitting a sworn statement that could not be offered against him at trial as evidence of his guilt (though it could be used to impeach him should he take the witness stand),” Forrest said. “Yet he has chosen not to do so.”

If the motion would have been successful, the prosecution would have never been able to convict Ulbricht for money laundering and narcotics charges.

The prosecution also responded with a description on how the FBI found the Silk Road server, saying that an agent entered “miscellaneous characters” into the log-in screen of Silk Road and due to a misconfiguration in the Tor network, the flaw resulted in the leaking of the server’s IP address.

About the author

Lucian Ciolacu

Still the youngest Bitdefender News writer, Lucian is constantly after flash news in the security industry, especially when something is vulnerable or exploited. Besides digging for 'hacker' scoops and data leaks, he enjoys sports, such as football and tennis.
He has also combined an interest for social and political sciences, as a graduate of the Political Science Faculty, with a passion for guitar and computer games.