One warrant to rule them all? The FBI was policing for this rule that would allow it to legally go on a mass hacking spree, and starting tomorrow, the agency is getting what it wanted.
Which is, the ability to hack into any device it wants.
The law is going into effect Thursday, and could potentially allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation to possibly break into countless devices, cell phones and tablets. It had little opposition expect for outrage from a few law makers and privacy advocates, with the senators trying to have Congress discuss this.
But these efforts to at least debate this law on the floor failed on Wednesday, and despite the concerns the new changes go into effect starting December 1.
This new rule essentially means that a Department of Justice official will be able to get a warrant that would allow the FBI to legally hack millions of devices from a single judge, as magistrates will now be able to allow searches outside their jurisdictions.
Senator Ron Wyden, was one of the three senators that offered measures to delay or rein in these new FBI powers said:
“At midnight tonight, this Senate will make one of the biggest mistakes in surveillance policy in years and years. Without a single congressional hearing, without a shred of meaningful public input, without any opportunity for senators to ask their questions in a public forum, one judge with one warrant would be able to authorize the hacking of thousands, possibly millions of devices, cell phones and tablets.”
Intelligence agencies currently seek warrants in districts where a judge is most likely in favor to grant then, and these current measures ensure that no single judge wields such a power.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has led the opposition, said that the rule can still change after tomorrow, and lawmakers and privacy activists are hoping to block the new changes before the new administration takes over.