TrapWire May Be Illegal

Tracking system likely runs afoul of a Supreme Court decision


Last week, whistleblower site Wikileaks posted some internal company documents about a high-tech surveillance system called Trapwire, which is used by governments and private companies to identify "suspicious" or "terrorist" behavior. Subsequently, Wikileaks was brought down by a concerted DDOS attack, and conspiracy theories mushroomed online about the Trapwire system, which was said to include foolproof facial recognition software (it doesn't) and to siphon private surveillance camera footage to intelligence agents (this is what Trapwire claims that its eponymous product does). Much has also been made of the many former CIA agents and officials who work at Trapwire and its former parent company Abraxas.

Conspiracy theories aside, there are a lot of shady aspects to Trapwire. And one of the shadiest is its dubious legal status. A recent ruling by the Supreme Court could mean that using Trapwire to track people is illegal without a search warrant.