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Supreme Court approves rule change that expands FBI computer search powers

John Ribeiro | May 2, 2016
The FBI can now search computers anywhere in the world, according to critics.

“Under the proposed rules, the government would now be able to obtain a single warrant to access and search thousands or millions of computers at once; and the vast majority of the affected computers would belong to the victims, not the perpetrators, of a cybercrime,” said Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon in a statement on Thursday. Wyden said he planned to introduce legislation shortly to reverse the amendments.

U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts on Thursday transmitted the amended rules to Congress.

A federal judge in Massachusetts recently rejected evidence in a child pornography case that law enforcement obtained after hacking a child porn service on the Tor network, ruling that a judge in Virginia, who issued the warrant, could not authorize the search of property located outside the Eastern District of Virginia. The ruling is likely to give a boost to the FBI’s demand for a change to Rule 41.

 

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