Federal agencies have largely kept quiet about these capabilities, but court documents and interviews with people involved in the programs provide new details about the hacking tools, including spyware delivered to computers and phones through email or Web links‚ÄĒtechniques more commonly associated with attacks by criminals.
People familiar with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's programs say that the use of hacking tools under court orders has grown as agents seek to keep up with suspects who use new communications technology, including some types of online chat and encryption tools. The use of such communications, which can't be wiretapped like a phone, is called "going dark" among law enforcement....
WSJ wrote: Still, civil-liberties advocates say there should be clear legal guidelines to ensure hacking tools aren't misused. "People should understand that local cops are going to be hacking into surveillance targets," said Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union. "We should have a debate about that."
excerpt from the article. WSJ articles are usually good, and so is this one, you should look it over. Like all WSJ articles, (and Houston Chronicles ones ) they are will-o-wisp, here today and gone tomorrow. So, take a look at this one sooner rather than later.
Thanks SA, I'm not sure how this one escaped by attention.