If you are one of the many Americans that are concerned about our government spying on us, then this is not good news to you. Thanks to Rule 41, hacking into our computers and personal devices just got easier.
Rule 41 is a rule of the Federal Rules and Criminal Procedure. This year, there was an amendment added to the rule, allowing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to hack into computers all around the globe, at any given time. The change grants the FBI much greater powers when it comes to hacking into our computers. All they have to do is have a single warrant issued from any United States judge. This even includes magistrate judges.
According to Fortune Magazine, “Until now, the government could only carry out a search of computers located in the district where the federal judge granted the warrant.” Now the government would be able to look at computers outside of the district as well — they won’t even necessarily have to know where exactly the computers, phones, or other devices are.”
However, there are some senators trying to push back the expansion since the recent election of Donald Trump. FBI director has openly said that he wants the power to hack his political opponents the same way Russia does. Is that really someone that we can trust with this kind of power? The power to hack into your cell phone and read messages or view pictures. That is a very discomforting idea to most.
According to BuzzFeed, the act is a “controversial new law that formally legalizes a number of mass surveillance programs, and which forces internet service providers to store browsing data on all customers for 12 months.”
The change to rule 41 also grants the ability to hack into computers in any jurisdiction, but also outside of the compounds of the United States. This is very concerning, privacy is not just a right for citizens, but it is a right to anyone as a human. It is a “certain inalienable right”.