Earlier this year, few major changes took place in Federal Rules of the Criminal Procedure and all these changes were actually made simply to empower the government agencies to get ‘universal’ warrants from the federal judges to hack computers.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States just got more power. Despite resistance from some of its members, the Senate approved a change in the current legislation that gives the agency the authority to legally invade the computers of any person during an investigation, even those who are outside the US territory (yes, including the India as well).
On Wednesday 30th November, Senator Ron Wyden who is the senior United States Senator for Oregon, serving since 1996, and a member of the Democratic Party, tried 3 three times to prevent the rule changes. As he stated that “By sitting here and doing nothing, the Senate has given consent to this expansion of government hacking and surveillance”.
Until then, the FBI could only act in places within the jurisdiction of the judge who issued the search and seizure warrant. From now on, however, the judge may order the agency to remotely access any machine that is interesting and will be much efficient for the investigations, while the criminal was in a territory within its jurisdiction or not.
Thus, the corporation gained the legal power simply to hack PCs from other countries, if necessary. It is worth noting that this change had already been approved earlier this year through a private vote in the Supreme Court, but still needed to go through the approval of Congress. Well, despite the endless ramblings and half-hearted efforts of Congress, the government has finally got expanded hacking powers.
The major concern is the reflection of this power of the FBI in the matter of privacy global since the US just to gain even more power to continue with its massive espionage and surveillance programs.