More recently, the DEA created a Facebook account in someone's name to ensnare her friends.…

Nasty stuff, this.
I see. It's perfectly OK for the Seattle Times to be Bill Gates' tool, but not the government's. Noted.
The Times is unconcerned about the hypocritical drivel and biased bullshit they print, yet they're concerned that the FBI impersonated them via an email link to catch a suspect? I would think they'd be grateful they were useful for something other than bird cage liners.
It's good to see Seattle Times staff condemn this fraud. What about Associated Press?
Buried lede:
The FBI thought that someone familiar with computers would actually click a link ending in something as sketchy-looking as "webteensex11.html"? WEB TEEN SEX.
There have been times I've been furious at the Seattle Times for impersonating a newspaper.
@3: Way to miss the point. Woosh!
The quick blurb about the CIA-Vaccine story omits the fact that that story is so heinous because the aftermath of the CIA impersonating medical personnel is that people in other countries now mistrust many good medical/charitable organizations. And making it even worse, medical personnel have been murdered on suspicion of being US CIA operatives.

And the CIA merely says "Whoops, our bad, we promise not to do it again." Just one in a long, long string of failures and fuck-ups by our CIA.
@7 I want to marry that comment and have its babies.
Damn @10, you beat me to it.

@3, if they're [the FBI/CIA/whatever fuck-up govt org] doing it to the good ol' Republicant Seattle Times, then we have no idea what else they're doing to who else, including this publication, The Stranger.
Standard operating procedure I'm sure. I find their use of spyware more insidious. The government has detailed knowledge of countless vulnerabilities in our computers, but rather than informing Microsoft and Apple they use them for their investigations. The collateral damage is billions of dollars wasted combatting spyware and dealing with hacks.
@7: Beat me to it.
@7, ZING!
If they knew his MySpace account...why bother with the trojan?
Just call MySpace...
Wow, CIPAV must be a magic piece of software to overcome all OS variations and flash/script blocking software. I'd be willing to put money down that this kid was using IE and clicked on the link.

If the kid was using one of the two other major browsers, one of half a dozen simple script blocking addons and Linux, I'd be willing to bet CIPAV wouldn't have worked. Not in 2007, not in 2014.

The problem was the kid and his stupidity, not the actions of the FBI. Heck, I'm surprised the FBI even needed a warrant to do what half of the Nigerian scammers on the planet are doing. This is SOP on the internet, for governments and corporations alike. Google Avast spying adware if you don't believe me. Even your antivirus is suspect.
Ironic that the Times would be upset, as they''ve endorsed Bush, McKenna, and other Republicans who would endorse spying on anyone.
@9, good points. Specifically, their cowboyin' facilitated the resurgence of polio by interfering with the eradication/vaccination campaign.

Glad to see you back. Did you realize that your last comment prior to showing up in Dominic's farewell thread was at almost the exact same instant as the Oso landslide? A few weeks afterward I was like "Gee, I haven't seen Dr_A around lately," did a quick search, and got a chill when I saw the date & time.
Is the Stranger jealous by chance? :p
Hooray for this new Seattle Times that won't compromise civil liberties for anything.

This is the new Seattle Times, right? They aren't just going to throw a snit about this one thing and then go back to their same old reactionary editorial policies. Right?
Doesn't it matter just a little that the only person deceived was the bad guy? And this was done under authority of a judge-issued search warrant? It's not like they hacked the Seattle Times' website. That was untouched.
@10 @11

I have it on good authority that the comment is GGG and willing to enter a polylingual relationship.
@22: It wasn't a search. It was computer fraud committed by FBI staff.
wait, you mean that the FBI has compromised all your secrets if you click a link with webteensex11.html in it ?

I need to go... somewhere safe.
No @8, I didn't miss the point. I just find it ironic that a shitty and biased "news" paper like the Seattle Times is concerned about the FBI masquerading as them to catch a potential bombing suspect and then has the nerve to mention something about respecting the role of the free press, when they've been bought by the Gates Foundation and anyone else with money or power in this county/state. Perhaps if the FBI had paid them, they'd have fewer objections.
Yep @24, computer fraud targeting a single individual and done under authority of a search warrant. The Seattle Times and the general public were not affected, directly or indirectly.

This was no random dragnet, no fishing expedition searching for a problem. They targeted and took down one person they thought was going to detonate a weapon of mass destruction. Maybe we should just say Thank You.
"Not only does that cross the line, it erases it."
That's the stupidest thing I have read on the web today. And that's after reading the huffington post.
I'm generally sympathetic to worries about government overreach (don't get me started about civil forfeiture!), but I'm totally unsympathetic to arguments that the press is some extra-special snowflake that deserves more protection than the rest of us. If you are willing to point to some law or enunciate some moral principal that law enforcement should never engage or trickery or impersonation to catch a criminal, I'm interested to hear it. But if your argument is just that the press deserves some peculiar special deference, you've lost me.

I'd like to add that the courts have generally agreed with me, viewing freedom of the press as just a corollary of the freedom of public speech we all enjoy rather than a set of extra rights that people who call themselves reporters get to claim. For example, reporters often try to argue that they should not be compelled to testify about their sources in the same way that others can be compelled to testify to whatever they know that is relevant to a court case. Courts have nearly uniformly rejected this as a constitutional principal.
Doesn't the Times impersonate a real newspaper?

And this in the Times' statement:

"as a government watchdog" Sometimes but their "watchdog" role for Seattle Schools is incessant whining and LACK of any kind of real oversight reporting.
Save your fire folks. Warrantless wiretapping, the FISA court in its entirety, letters to libraries asking for patrons records- these are threats to our liberties. An FBI action performed with a warrant and directed at one person?

Yep, this has the puerile preadolescent mind of Kid Herz all over it.

Does a tinfoil hat give you hat hair? Don't answer. THEY may be listening!!!
Yes. The FBI traded on the reputation of the Seattle Times to deceive one 15 year-old.

The "reputation of the Seattle Times?" With a 15-year-old?

Don't you find anything funny in those words?

Frankly, I have a lot more trouble with the RNC putting fake news reporters into White House press conferences, than I do with the FBI fooling individual terror-wannabes. Can we possibly consider context and scope before we all run berserk over what seems to be little more than pranking a suspect to get the goods on him? You know, they also call up fugitives and tell them they won name-brand prizes and to come and collect them. Why can't a Seattle Times story be seen as just another name-brand prize (albeit a piss-poor one)?

I'm a lot more worried about cases of entrapment and some of their other tactics, than this.
Now, The Intercept is reporting on this:…
I must be missing a lot. This happened seven years ago and resulted in the apprehension and successful prosecution of some juvenile hacker who beleived he was beyond the reach of the law and social obligation and was regularly causing community fear and actual damage. Oh, puh-LEEZE ... So the concern is that the FBI stamped on the "integrity" of the Times and AP? That's rich. The Times is REALLY upset because they missed an exclusive in exchange for use of their good name. Trust me, I am not being facetious. The targeted use of the Times "style" (such that it has one) and name and the AP tag wasn't brilliant merely because it worked, but also because the FBI properly deduced that the callow youth would believe that anything with "Seattle Times" and "AP" on it was for real. BTW, the sliding away of mainstream press integrity didn't began with this. No, no... that began with dropping Prince Valiant.
Criminal thugs spoofing a website!

This is news?
More from AP:…

And detailed story from Washington Post:…
Seattle Times' editorial board:…
I met with a detective well before the FBI sent this "fake link" to him. I was a parent of 2 students who actually had conversations with the little jerk on mYspace urging him to stop. I sat with the detective and logged in to mYspace, I told the detective that I had his IP address but he didn't seem interested. Only to review the conversations. (He threatened to blow up my parent meeting at the school which was about FINALLY doing something to stop his threats. They had full access to mySpace, his postings and his IP address(s).

I was kinda shocked to read about this story. Basically they had it at their fingertips!

It's on Democracy Now! this morning.…
And NPR:…

@31. I guess "Kid Herz" was onto something.
@40: Hi. Would you mind e-mailing me at or giving me a ring for a follow-up story? 206-323-7101 ext. 3016.

Ansel, ask The Stranger's at-risk-youth to get IP address out of their logs. Your welcome.
Sure, no problem Ansel. I will.

Evidence of a new, unheralded, illegal, quasi 'Criminal Justice System' (CJS) forged by fbi…

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