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A state law enforcement officer, apparently without the knowledge of his own agency, purchased malware that can intercept social media messages, emails, and much more, according to data obtained by Motherboard.

Although it’s unclear why the investigator bought the malware, which requires physical access to a smartphone to install, this is the first known case of a US state law enforcement officer purchasing such a tool. In a similar way to how surveillance technology such as Stingrays has trickled down to local agencies, the news highlights how spying software is not limited to federal agencies such as the FBI or DEA, but has spread, in some form, to more regional forces.

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