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Congress seeks to postpone super important cybersecurity change

(TECH NEWS) Law enforcement could soon be able to obtain a single warrant to hack innumerable computers and devices, regardless of location. Congress is looking at the cybersecurity measure now.

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Cybersecurity and Rule 41

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers, with the support of digital rights organizations like Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), would like Congress to take more time considering a rule change that would impact how law enforcement agencies access computers and devices.

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Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures is scheduled to change on December 1, giving federal investigators unprecedented new rights to hack computers and other devices. After the change, law enforcement agents would be able to obtain a single warrant, giving them power to hack innumerable computers and devices, regardless of location.

A move to delay Rule 41

Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Review the Rule Act, which would delay the Rule 41 change until July 1, giving legislators more time to thoroughly debate the implications of the change.

Senators Coons and Wyden presented the bill on Senate floor on November 17, urging their fellow lawmakers to take more time and consideration before allowing the Rule 41 change.

“Neither the Senate nor the House held a hearing or a markup on the relevant committees to evaluate these changes,” explained Coons. “The body of government closest to the people has failed to weigh in at all on an issue that immediately and directly impacts our constituent’s rights.”

Time to argue

Some lawmakers were particularly concerned about protecting those rights under Trump, who, according to Senator Wyden, “said he wants the power to hack his political opponents.” However, bipartisan opposition to the Rule 41 change was already gathering steam before Trump was elected.

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Coons, Wyden, and twenty-one other lawmakers sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch back in October asking for more information about the change to Rule 41.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation says that a change to Rule 41 “threatens privacy and security”. They urge Congress to “give this issue the time and consideration it deserves”. Hopefully the bipartisan bill will give Congress the time it needs to adequately review whether law enforcement should have expanded hacking power.

#ReviewtheRule

Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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  1. Pingback: Government's hacking powers increase as bipartisan effort to block fails - The American Genius

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  3. Pingback: Indeed says there's a cybersecurity skills gap, could you capitalize on it? - The American Genius

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