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 McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems search for winning playbook Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response The Memo: Immigration battle tests activists’ muscle MORE (D-Nev.), plus House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year 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 LeahyNSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle McConnell to Dems: Don't hold government 'hostage' over DACA Nielsen acknowledges Trump used 'tough language' in immigration meeting MORE (D-Vt.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeNSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle With religious liberty memo, Trump made America free to be faithful again This week: Time running out for Congress to avoid shutdown MORE (R-Utah) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenWeek ahead: Senate takes up surveillance bill This week: Time running out for Congress to avoid shutdown Senate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump MORE (D-Ore.), and Rep. Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeWith coordinated US action, Iran's expansionist strategy will backfire Overnight Defense: Judge orders Pentagon to accept transgender recruits on Jan. 1 | Trump eyes sending American astronauts back to moon | GOP reps want Iran sanctions over Yemen war GOP lawmakers call for Iran sanctions over its role in Yemen 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.