Federal Agents Allowed To Hack Into Phones And Computers By The Rule 41 Alteration

By Earnest Jones , The Goldwater · 12-10-2016
Photo credit: The Goldwater

The Federal agents want to greatly expand their surveillance power in a dramatic fashion that’s against the basic human rights. This was set into motion by a crucial Supreme Court order which was set to go into effect on the 1st of December Thursday. The Supreme court order is against the Rule 41 of the Criminal Procedure under the Federal Rules, this aims at moderating the search and seizure warrant legal requirements to carry out the search. The court order will grant the government remote access to one’s phone and computer.

In the past it was difficult for law enforcement to remotely access one’s computer since a warrant from a judge located in the jurisdiction of the area where the search was to be conducted had to be obtained by the law enforcement. The new law states that the warrant is considered valid without considering the jurisdiction if the suspect uses technology to hide their whereabouts. The new law has the ability to allow millions of searches on devices just by a lone authorization.

The US federal Courts adopted the rule after the Justice Department sought the rule change and consequently the Supreme Court approved it on the 28th of April. The recent child pornography cases deemed the FBI evidence inadmissible and hence the changes had to be accelerated. The FBI and the Department of Justice refused to disclose how they gathered the evidence.

In an recent move by the FBI, a sting known as Operation Pacifier has been set up in order to Playpen servers to set up a sting against users of the pedophilia porn site; FBI said that it’s abilities were limited when it came to locking up the suspects and hence the new rules had to be fast tracked.

In a move that seeks to prevent crime, the Rule 41 had to be modified. However, its implementation means that the state is given extensive authority. Unlike other changes which have broad implications implying that they have to be discussed in Congress. This change was discussed by the small US Courts Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure after the Department of Justice made a modification request; since it was deemed minor, after which the Supreme Court authorized the changes.

The only problem with that alteration was the fact that it was done undercover with very minimal publicity regarding the change. However, some people contested the decision, such included the Electronic Frontier Foundation which insisted that the old rule should be maintained.

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