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Unless Stopped, FBI's Mass Hacking Could Be Legalized December 1

Earlier this year, the Judicial Conference (the national policy-making body for the federal courts) approved changes to “Rule 41” that would allow the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to hack anyone in any jurisdiction in the U.S., and even globally. Fight for the Future, along with the EFF and other civil liberties groups, are calling on everyone to ask their senators to pass a law to stop the rule change from going into effect on December 1.

The FBI has recently started employing mass hacking tactics against thousands of computers at once as a “modern investigative technique.” The new tactic came to light during the recent Playpen case, which revealed that the FBI hacked over 8,000 computers in 20 countries.

According to Fight for the Future, anyone who uses encryption, a VPN, the Tor browser, disables location tracking, or is the victim of a botnet, could also become a target of FBI’s hacking efforts. That’s because the new rule 41 changes allow judges to issue warrants that would give law enforcement remote access and the ability to search, seize, and copy data when “the district where the media or information is located has been concealed through technological means.”

The EFF also argued that the real problem is the change allows any judge in the U.S. to issue warrants for any other jurisdiction in the country. Civil liberties groups believe that this would encourage law enforcement agencies to engage in “forum shopping,” which involves obtaining warrants from friendly judges, or from judges that may not fully understand the technical implications of the government’s requests.

The EFF has argued that the Rule 41 changes are not just the simple procedural changes that the Judicial Conference normally enacts, but changes that significantly expand FBI’s hacking powers. The EFF has argued that Congress, not the Supreme Court, should’ve decided this sort of hacking power expansion.

The new rule 41 changes go into effect on December 1 at midnight, which leaves little time for Congress to act and pass a law to stop the changes. However, the civil liberties groups recommend everyone could still contact their senators and ask them to vote yes on the “Stopping Mass Hacking Act.”

  • targetdrone
    A Lame duck congress isn't going to do anything. Even if they did, The Lame Duck President won't sign it into law.

    Have to wait until January 21st.
    Reply
  • ledhead11
    I'm getting old enough to not care about myself so I will say this:

    Those against true democracy figured out a long time ago that when you can't change a law you can work it's loopholes. . . . .it works both ways and there's no deadline on that!
    Reply
  • warpcrash
    Well you could just not do anything on your computer that you wouldn't do in public. Common sense goes a long way.
    Reply
  • Ryuudou
    A preview of what life will be like under Trump's America. He doesn't believe in the constitution and has clear authoritarian leanings (which is why his supporters love him).
    Reply
  • heffeque
    "Well you could just not do anything on your computer that you wouldn't do in public. Common sense goes a long way."
    Yep, and after getting all the info those guys want, the next step is to create laws that basically can potentially incarcerate anyone and... Bingo! Whenever someone isn't following "their" rules or is a potential problem for their power: use all that information and bring them down easy peasy. It's now like some of these laws aren't already there so... Great plan!
    Reply
  • memadmax
    Sweet. All I have to do is "hide in plain sight" then when I want to pirate some movies then.

    Not like I used any of that encryption/tor/vpn crap to begin with anyways...

    Still here... still not hacked... still don't give a crap...
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    18938516 said:
    A preview of what life will be like under Trump's America. He doesn't believe in the constitution and has clear authoritarian leanings (which is why his supporters love him).

    The pot calling the kettle black??

    Most democrats think the constitution should be rewritten, especially in regards to firearms. Obama also issued quite a few executive orders to not enforce some laws essentially contradicting what was passed by congress, and over reach on others which should need an act of congress. Even Saturday Night Live made a hilarious skit about it. "I'm just a bill".
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUDSeb2zHQ0

    Reply
  • cats_Paw
    Go ahead FBI, pass this, I dare you. I double dare you.
    These massive privacy breaches are all fine and good as long as you are the one doing them.
    Karma is a bi*ch and the least you expect it, the law you abused will turn against you.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    18936862 said:
    A Lame duck congress isn't going to do anything.
    True.

    18936862 said:
    Even if they did, The Lame Duck President won't sign it into law.
    Not sure.

    18936862 said:
    Have to wait until January 21st.
    Give me even one single piece of evidence for thinking he would roll back something like this. Just one.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    18939708 said:
    18938516 said:
    A preview of what life will be like under Trump's America. He doesn't believe in the constitution and has clear authoritarian leanings (which is why his supporters love him).

    The pot calling the kettle black??
    Why do you automatically assume someone criticizing Trump supports Obama? And even his most ardent supporters probably don't like 100% of his policies.

    The "your guy isn't any better" line is just a cheap trick used to silence opposition. Don't use it; don't fall for it.

    The fact is, we don't know what Trump will do, but he's been very pro-law enforcement and seems to have authoritarian tendencies. I'm definitely worried that policies like this will be the norm, in his administration.
    Reply