Just in Time for the Holidays: Congress Gave Trump Administration Incredible Hacking Powers
Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the statute that covers the 4th amendment regarding searches and seizure warrants, has now passed into law.
This means that federal investigators only have to go to a single judge to obtain a search warrant that can be used to hack into digital devices. That judge does not have to have jurisdiction over the device in question to issue the warrant.
These warrants can also allow federal investigators and law enforcement to hack into any computer wherein malware was used regardless of the location of the device.
Thanks to a case out of Texas , Rule 41 gives law enforcement and the federal government the pathway needed to “get a search warrant approved by a judge” with vague language that can be interpreted many different ways.
Critics of this rule say that its passage “should send a shiver down the spine of all Americans”, but the Department of Justice maintains that these alterations “merely ensure that at least one court is available to consider whether a particular warrant application comports with the Fourth Amendment.”
Senator Ron Wyden told Congress that this rule passage was “one of the biggest mistakes in surveillance policy in years” and the federal government now has cart blanche without oversight to spy on Americans; the Congress and any other political, corporate and individual in America.
Wyden said: “The government won’t tell the Congress or the American people how it would protect those rights, or how it would prevent collateral damage, or even how it would carry out these hacks. In effect, the policy is, ‘trust us’.”
There is a brewing concern in Congress that president elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration would abuse this new surveillance expansion, jeopardizing the privacy rights of innocent Americans.
With regard to Trump’s threats to deport undocumented immigrants, Rule 41 could be a great help. The president elect made this issue a staple of his campaign by promising to “get the people that are criminal and have criminal records — gang members, drug dealers” and deport them.
Trump estimates that the initial wave of deportations will encompass 2 to 3 million people.
According to the president elect, these people are drug dealers and “bad hombres”; however mixed into this group are people who have simply violated traffic laws and other harmless offenses that could land them in jail for a small sentence, but ultimately put their names on Trump’s “registry” and scheduled for deportation.