Last fall, we wrote about how the FBI had set up a fake AP news story
in order to implant malware during an investigation. This came out deep in a document that had been released via a FOIA request by EFF, and first noticed by Chris Soghoian
of the ACLU. The documents showed the FBI discussing how to install some malware, called a CIPAV (for Computer and Internet Protocol Address Verifier) by creating a fake news story:
It later came out that the way the FBI used this was an undercover agent pretended to be an AP reporter and sent the suspect -- a 15 year old high school kid... -- a "draft" of the article to review. And when the kid opened it, the malware was deployed.
In response to this, FBI director James Comey defended the practice, saying that it was legal "under Justice Department and FBI guidelines at the time" and, furthermore, that this bit of deception worked. Comey also said that while guidelines had changed, and such impersonation would require "higher-level approvals," it was still something the FBI could do.
The AP has now sued the FBI, along with the Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press (RCFP) over its failure to reveal any more details about this effort following a FOIA request. For reasons that are beyond me, even though it's the AP filing the lawsuit and the AP writing about the lawsuit, reporter Michael Biesecker apparently doesn't think its readers can handle the actual filing, so they don't include it (this is bad journalism, folks). However, you can read the actual lawsuit here.
In short, the AP made a FOIA request for documents related to this specific case above, as well as "an accounting of the number of times" that the FBI "has impersonated media organizations or generated media-style material" to deliver malware. The FBI said it was working on it, and then bizarrely told the AP that the request was being "closed administratively" because it was being combined with someone else's FOIA request, which left the AP reasonably confused, since they had not initiated that request and had no idea who had.