FBI gets expanding hacking powers as Senate Democrats fail to block
It will now be easier for the FBI to hack into computers.
Democratic Senator Ron Wyden attempted three times to delay the changes which, will take effect on Thursday and allow U.S. judges will be able to issue search warrants that give the FBI the authority to remotely access computers in any jurisdiction, potentially even overseas. His efforts were blocked by Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican.
The changes will allow judges to issue warrants in cases when a suspect uses anonymizing technology to conceal the location of his or her computer or for an investigation into a network of hacked or infected computers, such as a botnet.
Magistrate judges can currently only order searches within the jurisdiction of their court, which is typically limited to a few counties.
In a speech from the Senate floor, Wyden said that the changes to Rule 41 of the federal rules of criminal procedure amounted to “one of the biggest mistakes in surveillance policy in years.”