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U.S. Supreme Court grants FBI new powers to hack into computers

May 1, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
U.S. Supreme Court  grants FBI new powers to hack into computers

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday passed a new rule granting federal judges the right to issue warrants on computers outside of their jurisdiction, greatly expanding the FBI’s powers of surveillance.

Congress now has until Dec. 1 to pass a bill to stop the rule, or else it automatically goes into effect as part of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which govern every federal prosecution across the country.

Under the current rule, federal judges, in most cases, can only order searches and seizures within their own jurisdictions.

Now, under the new rules written by federal judges at the behest of the Justice Department, a magistrate can OK a warrant to hack into a computer — in an unknown location under technical concealment — and take control of its data.

For example, a federal judge on the East Cost would be able to issue a warrant to FBI agents on the West Coast to get into a computer — without knowing its real location.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) was critical of the new rule, which the Justice Department defended.

“These amendments will have significant consequences for Americans’ privacy and the scope of the government’s powers to conduct remote surveillance and searches of electronic devices,” Wyden told The Post in a statement.

“Under the proposed rules, the government would now be able to obtain a single warrant to access and search thousands or millions of computers at once; and the vast majority of the affected computers would belong to the victims, not the perpetrators, of a cybercrime,” Wyden said.

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