The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wants the power to hack into computers anywhere in the world, and even millions of computers at once. Instead of asking U.S. Congress for permission, they’re sneaking a procedural rule change through the bureaucracy. It’s called Rule 41 and it’s part of the U.S.Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Read more about Rule 41 and government hacking here and here.

Why You Should Care

Rule 41 sets the rules for courts to issue warrants for searches and seizures. Under the FBI’s changes, any judge in a jurisdiction where a hacking crime may have occurred will be able to give the government broad permission to hack into any number of devices anywhere in the world.

There are major security and privacy problems with this change, and here has been NO public discussion about FBI hacking. In fact, Congress never authorized the FBI to conduct this activity at all.

In addition, the techniques the government has used involves accessing devices of potentially millions of victims, such as victims of “botnet” attacks. These victims often don’t even know they’re part of a botnet. And the government hacks could cause serious collateral damage.