This sounds like BIG BROTHER ON STEROIDS! People will say it's to protect us from terrorists, but DO YOU REALLY WANT THE DOJ TO HAVE THIS MUCH POWER (that could just as easily be used against patriotic citizens who are protesting against the excesses of a government growing more and more tyrannical)? What's your freedom and privacy worth to you??? Can you imagine how someone like Hillary Clinton or ANY socialist, globalist or RINO might be inclined to abuse this power???
Official ID: S.2952
House version: H.R.5321
Stopping Mass Hacking Act
Sponsor: Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR] (Introduced 05/19/2016)
This bill rejects an amendment to rule 41 (Search and Seizure) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court and transmitted to Congress for review on April 28, 2016. (The amendment allows a federal magistrate judge to issue a warrant to use remote access to search computers and seize electronically stored information located inside or outside that judge's district in specific circumstances.)
Text of bill:
Background on Amendment to Rule 41
Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure governs the procedures for obtaining a search warrant in federal court.10 Among other elements, Rule 41 primarily requires a government official to demonstrate probable cause that evidence of a crime will be found in the place to be searched.11 As to the question of venue—that is, which is the appropriate federal district court to seek a search warrant—Rule 41 provides that a search warrant may be issued by “a magistrate judge with authority in the district.”12 In a 2013 ruling from the Southern District of Texas, discussed below, the court found that although Rule 41 permits extraterritorial warrants (a warrant to be served outside of that judge’s jurisdiction) in limited situations, the factual predicates to obtaining one were not present there.13
Rule 41 permits the issuance of extraterritorial warrants in four limited instances: (1) the property is within the jurisdiction but may be moved out of the jurisdiction before the warrant is executed; (2) the property is part of an investigation of domestic or international terrorism; (3) tracking devices are used which can be monitored outside the jurisdiction if installed within the jurisdiction; or (4) the property is located in a U.S. territory or U.S. diplomatic or consular mission.14 However, based on the text of the rule, none of these exceptions appear to permit searches where the location of the target is unknown, such that it is not clear in which jurisdiction to request a warrant.
The amendment to Rule 41 approved by the Supreme Court and now before Congress would expand the instances in which DOJ could seek extraterritorial warrants. More broadly, it would codify DOJ’s ability to “to use remote access to search electronic storage media and to seize or copy electronically stored information,” an authority that is not explicitly found in the rule now. Before looking at the amendment, it is helpful to understand some of the background and cases behind the current version of Rule 41.
The universe of reported cases in which DOJ has relied on the current version of Rule 41 to remotely access a target’s computer is small, but does shed light on how DOJ might use amended Rule 41 if adopted. The federal government’s ability to remotely access computers as part of a criminal investigation was first revealed in 2001 when journalists discovered the existence of “Magic Lantern,” later renamed the “Computer and Internet Protocol Address Verifier,” a covert project used by the FBI to hack into a target’s computer.15 Known more generally as “network investigative techniques” (NIT), this technology can be used to gather both metadata from a computer, such as the Internet Protocol (IP) address of a target’s computer, and the content of data stored on that computer, such as email communications or photographs.
Read more at: