TOR users become FBI’s No.1 hacking target after legal power grab | Register

The FBI wants greater authority to hack overseas computers, according to a law professor.

A Department of Justice proposal to amend Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure would make it easier for domestic law enforcement to hack into the computers of people attempting to protect their anonymity on the internet.

 The change in search and seizure rules would mean the FBI could seize targets whose location is “concealed through technological means”, as per the draft rule (key extract below). Concealed through technological means is legal speak for hosted somewhere on the darknet, using Tor or proxies or making use of VPN technology.

Authority to Issue a Warrant. At the request of a federal law enforcement officer or an attorney for the government: (6) a magistrate judge with authority in any district where activities related to a crime may have occurred has authority to issue a warrant to use remote access to search electronic storage media and to seize or copy electronically stored information located within or outside that district if: (A) the district where the media or information is located has been concealed through technological means; or (B) in an investigation of a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(5), the media are protected computers that have been damaged without authorization and are located in five or more districts.

The DoJ has said that the amendment is not meant to give courts the power to issue warrants that authorise searches in foreign countries. Continue reading

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