Why Did StealthGenie Get Busted By The Feds?
As a result of the StealthGenie site being shutdown, we have had a flood of people asking if FlexiSPY is next.
We want to reassure our customers that we will not suffer StealthGenie’s fate for the reasons described below. Also, if you are a StealthGenie customer, you may find this interesting.
The mobile monitoring industry was rocked the 27th September 2014, when a temporary restraining order, granted by a US Judge took the StealthGenie website offline. The arrest the following day of Hammed Akbar at Los Angeles Airport under an indictment of charges of manufacturing, selling and advertising a « surreptitious interception device » was then made public.
There are many questions raised by the StealthGenie case, but the one of most concern to the mobile device monitoring industry is, « Could this happen to us? », and « How do we stay legal? »
Location, Location, Location …
The answer to this can be found by looking at point 6 of the legal complaint that was presented to the court.
« Defendant is subject to the personal jurisdiction of this Court, having sold and advertised StealthGenie using a computer server located at an Amazon Web Services, Inc. data center located in Ashbum, Virginia, which is in the Eastern District of Virginia. »
In other words, because StealthGenie were using Amazon Web Servers that were located in the USA, they were breaking US laws, and thus the Feds can credibly claim that there is a crime being carried out in their territory.
This is no surprise to anyone who has been following how the USA operates internationally in a post 911 world. Any business knows that having even the smallest US footprint, will most likely allow the USA to claim jurisdiction – should they wish to do so.
Which is why StealthGenies decision to use Amazon Web Services is so perplexing.
The answer for businesses is clear. If you do not want to be subject to US laws, then do not use the services of any supplier that is under the jurisdiction of the USA.
In other words, have a zero US footprint in your business.
Don’t Wake The Giant
Regardless of the legality of what StealthGenie were doing, the Feds have a duty to investigate complaints about what happens on their patch. Whether the law is fair, or if it was actually broken are questions for another time and place.
We respect the USA, its laws, and its enforcement agencies and we make sure we stay out of their way by not having a US footprint. This is why FlexiSPY does not use servers in the USA or the services of any USA supplier, and FlexiSPY Ltd is not a USA company. There are no US laws being broken and we respectfully state that we believe that we are not under the jurisdictions of the USA.
If any legal minds out there have a different opinion, please let the world know by leaving a comment below. (Comments from the FED particularly welcome. )