❝ The Supreme Court might have just given the FBI expanded hacking powers, opening the door for the feds to legally hack any computer in the country, and perhaps the world, with a single warrant authorized by a judge located anywhere in the United States.
❝ The court approved a controversial change in in Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a procedural rule that regulates when and under what circumstances judges can issue warrants for searches and seizures.
Under the old language of Rule 41…judges could approve warrants authorizing hacking — or as the FBI calls it, network investigative technique, or NIT — only within their jurisdiction.
With the changes, first proposed by the Department of Justice in 2014, judges could now approve hacking operations that go beyond their local jurisdiction if the target’s location is unknown or is part of a network of infected computers, or botnets, under the control of criminals.
This change would be “the broadest expansion of extraterritorial surveillance power since the FBI’s inception,” according to Ahmed Ghappour, an computer crime law expert and professor at UC Hastings…
❝ Privacy advocates, legal experts, and Google, have long opposed changing Rule 41 with this new language, and are now arguing that Congress should step in and amend or reject the rule change.
“The Department of Justice is quietly trying to grant themselves substantive authority to hack into computers and masking it as a bureaucratic update,” Amie Stepanovich, the U.S. policy manager at Access Now, a digital rights organization…
Congress now has until December 1 to weigh in, according to the US law governing the rulemaking process. If Congress doesn’t act, the rule will automatically come into effect.
Do I need to suggest you write, email or otherwise inform your Congress-critter to get off their rusty-dusty and do some work for ordinary citizens? Tell our elected officials to shutdown the free-form snooping our Constitutional government thinks it needs to make us safe.