Thursday, December 1, 2016
Expanded Federal Hacking Authority Goes Into Effect Despite Last Minute Efforts in Senate
AS OF DEC. 1, it is considerably easier for the FBI to hack into computers during investigations.
Thanks to a federal rule change, which passed through several judicial panels before being approved by the U.S. Supreme Court in April, FBI employees can now seek warrants from magistrate judges to remotely access computers even when targets might be outside those judges’ districts, including when the targets’ location is disguised by anonymity software like Tor. Additionally, FBI employees can now search computers infected by malware that makes them part of a botnet— a method used by criminals to disrupt Internet service, distribute spam, or spread viruses on a mass scale.