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Imagine having personal activities recorded via a laptop webcam without your knowledge? According to a recent report, the FBI has that ability to do just that.

The Washington Post published a report last Friday (December 6) regarding the case of a terror suspect known as “Mo” who became a target of the FBI due to a series of bomb threats. Mo sent the agency pictures of himself in an Iranian military uniform and his threat targets included American universities and airports.

Mo taunted FBI officials via Internet chat, emails and VoIP-based phone calls. Unable to tap a physical phone or raid an address, the FBI created a hacker team to create a piece of software that could secretly hack Mo’s email account and seize sensitive information.

The software, part of the agency’s “network investigative techniques” group, can download personal information from a person’s computer and even use laptop cameras to take photos without any indication to the user that recording is happening. Several courts have rejected the use of the tactic, saying that using the software violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

Despite the wide reach of the program and its invasive nature, FBI authorities still have yet to nab Mo and the person may still be abroad in Iran or elsewhere.

Read the full report on the FBI and its malware snooping program by following this link.

Photo: Alexander Higgins