Rand Paul Joins Effort to Halt FBI Hacking Expansion

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) will be the first Republican to co-sponsor a bill to block a pending judicial rule change that would dramatically expand the FBI’s hacking authority. The bill, which is expected to come out sometime this week, would seek to undo changes done to Rule 41 by the Supreme Court.

He joins Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in a bipartisan effort to undo the change.

The rule change allows a judge to issue search warrants for remote access to computers located in any jurisdictions. Usually, as Reuters points out, a Magistrate judge can usually only order searches within the jurisdiction of their court, which is limited to a few counties.

Last month the Supreme Court voted to amend Rule 41 of the federal rules of criminal procedure. This would allow judges to issue warrants in cases when a suspect uses technology that would allow them conceal the location of their computer into a network of infected computers.

The U.S Department of Justice said it was a procedural change needed to modernize the criminal code and would not permit illegal searches. However, Google said that the change was a “threat” to the 4th Amendment  protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Paul and Wyden have done this in the past; last year they joined together to force the expiration of the U.S Patriot Act. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is looking at the bill as well, though it is unclear whether he opposes the changes to Rule 41.

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