America has reached the phase of being a de facto police state
A offer that Washington bureaucrats be given practically unrestricted authorization to hack into private computers, which early on was being detailed as the ultimate “Big Brother” step, is attracting strong resistance from privacy activists and members of Congress.
“We’re in the midst right now of one of the biggest battles in the privacy world that we have faced,” stated U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, on a website mobilizing resistance. “If we keep down this path, we’re going to wake up in a few years in George Orwell’s 1984. This is why, as we fight for security, any intrusion on privacy needs to be narrowly tailored and aggressively overseen.”
Sources reported last month when the alarm was elevated by the Rutherford Institute, which presented its support to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who is opposing the rule modification.
At concern is a suggested change to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41, which addresses search warrants.
If the change is put into practice, Rutherford cautioned, it would “erode individual privacy” by allowing vast new authority to investigators.
Rutherford stated the DOJ’s suggested changes “have been justified as a way to fight cybercrime and make it easier for law enforcement to track down cyber criminals who use tools such as Tor, botnets or malware to mask their true location.”
It mentioned the U.S. Supreme Court already has “rubberstamped” the concept, and Congress has until December to block or modify it.
Currently, officials representing a coalition of organizations have penned to leaders in Congress forewarning that the modification would permit any federal magistrate to authorize invasive computer hacking by law enforcement against just about anybody.
The letter to Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Harry Reid, D-Nev.; and Reps. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stated the new strategy would “invite law enforcement to seek warrants authorizing them to hack thousands of computers at once – which it is hard to imagine would not be in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.”
The new demonstration is led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Tor Project and several dozen others.
They have established the No Global Warrants website to convey their issues.
EFF’s Cindy Cohn authored: “Any expansion of law enforcement’s ability to remotely attack computers should be thoroughly considered by Congress, not passed off as a minor procedural adjustment. Yet Rule 41 would grossly expand the power of law enforcement to seek orders to attack and exploit computers around the country and around the world.”
Included Wyden, “If Congress doesn’t stop these changes, a single judge will be able to grant a warrant to hack a million (or more) computers and other devices.”
There additionally is an online petition to assist folks to voice their opinions.
“The government is attempting to use a process designed for procedural changes to expand its investigatory powers,” stated Rainey Reitman of EFF. “Make no mistake: these changes to Rule 41 will result in a dramatic increase in government hacking. The government is trying to avoid scrutiny and sneak these new powers past the public and Congress through an obscure administrative process.”
Rule 41 today limits federal magistrate judges “to issue warrants to conduct searches in the judicial district where the magistrate is located.”
The modification would broaden that to contain “wherever in the world they are located.”
Kate Krauss of the Tor Project stated: “Tor users worldwide could be affected by these new rules. Tor is used by journalists, members of Congress, diplomats, and human rights activists who urgently need its protection to safeguard their privacy and security – but these rules will give the Justice Department new authority to snoop into their computers.”
John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute stated: “Of course, it’s a devil’s bargain – much like the Patriot Act was – that attempts to sell us on the idea that safety, security and material comforts are preferable to freedom. The problem with these devil’s bargains, however, is that there is always a catch, always a price to pay for whatever it is we valued so highly as to barter away our most precious possessions. In the end, as we saw with the Patriot Act, such bargains always turn sour.”
Considerably, the government could hack into computers without ever letting the owner find out.
Discussed the Rutherford Institute: “These amendments would greatly expand federal investigators’ ability to engage in remote surveillance, which involves the secret installation of data extraction software on a computer. Once installed, the software allows government agents to remotely search a computer’s hard drive and other data storage, transmit data back to the agents, and to even remotely activate and control attached cameras and microphones.”
Feel free to leave a comment. We would like to know what you think. If you liked the post hit the like button below. Thanks!!!