A Bias for Liberty, by Andrew P. Napolitano

Why was the FBI able to use blatantly unconstitutional Israeli software for two years? From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

Three weeks ago, this column reported on warnings issued by the Biden administration about the dangers of spyware. Spyware is software that permits the user to hack a computer unseen, unheard and undetected. The manufacturer of the warned-about spyware is an Israeli company called NSO, and its product is called Pegasus.

Pegasus permits its users to type in anyone’s cell number and, without requiring a response from the operator of the mobile device, gain complete access to the full contents of that device. Even though doing this in America or to an American is a federal crime — commonly called computer hacking — the Israelis have used it as part of their intelligence services for about six years.

They have also sold it to about a dozen foreign government entities who have used it for law enforcement, spying and harassing political opposition and journalists.

One of the government entities that purchased Pegasus is the FBI.

When the Biden administration warned against being victimized by Pegasus, it did not tell the American public that the government owns this spyware. We now know — thanks to dogged reporting by Ronen Bergman and Mark Mazzetti of The New York Times — that the FBI experimented with Pegasus from a warehouse in New Jersey for about two years before abandoning it.

For two years, Phantom — the American version of Pegasus — was used on two tracks. It was employed experimentally by the FBI and debated theoretically by lawyers at the Department of Justice and the White House during the presidencies of Donald Trump and Joseph R. Biden. The Biden administration must have known of the coming Times expose, hence its recent odd warning.

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