At midnight on Thursday, the FBI, CIA, and other law enforcement agencies get a major expansion of their hacking powers. Instead of having to get a hacking warrant from your local district judge, they’ll be able to go forum shopping for any judge in the country who will give them the warrant.
Even worse, any federal judge will be able to authorize the government to run hacking operations on multiple computers located anywhere. A single warrant could authorize privacy violations on a mass scale.
Fortunately, a group of US lawmakers is working on delaying the hacking powers from taking effect on Thursday. If we can get this delayed now, there is a good chance we will be able to get it killed permanently.
This change to the hacking warrants system was never debated or voted on by Congress. It was proposed by the FBI and approved by an obscure committee of the federal court system.
The courts are trying to force this through as a mere technical change, but in reality it would have a major impact on the privacy and security of all Americans.
The bar for the FBI to justify hacking into people’s computers would be dramatically lowered. And countless people could be caught up in mass hacking operations if they were ever victims of botnets or if their computers were ever infected by malware.
Most members of Congress are not even aware this rule change is happening, and the ones who are aware either oppose it or have serious concerns about how it’s being done. We need to force a debate of these mass hacking rules before it’s too late.
Thanks for all you do,
Lizzy at FFTF