The prosecution's latest rebuttal to that argument takes an unexpected tack: they claim that even if the FBI did hack the Silk Road without a warrant—and prosecutors are careful not to admit they did—that intrusion would be a perfectly law-abiding act of criminal investigation.
On Monday evening the prosecutors submitted the latest in a series of combative court filings from the two sides of the Silk Road case that have clashed over Ulbricht's Fourth Amendment right to privacy. The government's new argument responds to an affidavit from an expert witness, tech lawyer Joshua Horowitz, brought in by Ulbricht's defense to poke holes in the FBI's story of how it located the Silk Road server. In a letter filed last week, Horowitz called out inconsistencies in the FBI's account of stumbling across the Silk Road's IP address while innocently entering "miscellaneous data" into its login page. He testified that the FBI's actions instead sounded more like common hacker intrusion techniques. Ulbricht's defense has called for an evidentiary hearing to cross examine the FBI about the operation.