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Google, ACLU call to delay government hacking rule

Google, ACLU call to delay government hacking rule
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A coalition of 26 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Google, signed a letter Monday asking lawmakers to delay a measure that would expand the government’s hacking authority. 

The letter asks Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules Duckworth brings her baby to Senate vote, drawing a crowd FreedomWorks backs Jim Jordan for House Speaker MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination The Memo: Teens rankle the right with gun activism Dems to party: Go on offense with Trump’s alleged affairs MORE (D-Nev.), plus House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFreedomWorks backs Jim Jordan for House Speaker House, Senate GOP compete for cash Some doubt McCarthy or Scalise will ever lead House GOP MORE (R-Wis.), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to further review proposed changes to Rule 41 and delay its implementation until July 1, 2017. 

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The Department of Justice’s alterations to the rule would allow law enforcement to use a single warrant to hack multiple devices beyond the jurisdiction that the warrant was issued in. 

The FBI used such a tactic to apprehend users of the child pornography dark website, Playpen. It took control of the dark website for two weeks and after securing two warrants, installed malware on Playpen users computers to acquire their identities. 

But the signatories of the letter — which include advocacy groups, companies and trade associations — are raising questions about the effects of the change. 

“The consequences of this rule change are far from clear, and could be deleterious to security as well as to Fourth Amendment privacy rights,” the coalition wrote. “Government hacking, like wiretapping, can be much more privacy invasive than traditional searches.”

Robyn Greene, policy counsel and government affairs lead at New America’s Open Technology Institute, echoed that sentiment in a statement separate from the letter, which the group signed on to. 

"This rule change is far too complex and raises too many privacy and cybersecurity concerns for Congress to let the rule go into effect without conducting any oversight whatsoever.” 

Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCongress should build on the momentum from spending bill Overnight Tech: Zuckerberg grilled by lawmakers over data scandal | What we learned from marathon hearing | Facebook hit with class action lawsuit | Twitter endorses political ad disclosure bill | Uber buys bike share Overnight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg faces grilling in marathon hearing | What we learned from Facebook chief | Dems press Ryan to help get Russia hacking records | Top Trump security adviser resigning MORE (D-Vt.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate confirms Trump’s pick to lead NASA Key senators warn Trump of North Korea effort on Syria Rep. Jordan: Action in Syria ‘should be debated in Congress’ MORE (R-Utah) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Cybersecurity: Senators want info on 'stingray' surveillance in DC | Bills to secure energy infrastructure advance | GOP lawmaker offers cyber deterrence bill Overnight Tech: Alleged robocall kingpin testifies before Congress | What lawmakers learned | Push for new robocall rules | Facebook changes privacy settings ahead of new data law | Time Warner CEO defends AT&T merger at trial Dems give muted praise to Pompeo-Kim meeting MORE (D-Ore.), and Rep. Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeRepublican lawmaker introduces new cyber deterrence bill Lawmakers question FBI director on encryption Loss of Ryan hits hard for House Republicans MORE (R-Texas) have previously voiced their concerns and questioned the changes to Rule 41 which is set to go into effect on Dec. 1.