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Coons to call for voice vote to halt changes to hacking rule

Coons to call for voice vote to halt changes to hacking rule

Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsPompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel Overnight Defense: House to begin work on defense policy bill | Panel to vote Monday on Pompeo | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump appeals decision blocking suspected combatant's transfer Heitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State MORE (D-Del.) intends to call for a voice vote by unanimous consent Wednesday from the Senate floor for a bill delaying controversial changes to legislation easing government hacking, a member of Coons's staff said.

Investigators could apply to hack five or more computers with a single warrant application if changes take effect Thursday, as planned, involving Rule 41 of Federal Criminal Procedure, the rule describing how evidence must be collected.

The changes would also allow investigators to apply for a warrant in any court, regardless of jurisdiction, to hack a computer that takes technologic means to hide its location.

Coons introduced legislation earlier this month to delay the start date of the new rules until July 1 to give lawmakers more time to consider the implications of the changes. 

The bipartisan “Review the Rule Act” is also sponsored by Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenOvernight Cybersecurity: Fallout from Comey memos | IG reportedly investigating memos over classified info | DNC sues Russia, Trump campaign | GOP chair blasts FDIC over data security Why Smokin' Joe leads the pack of 2020 Democratic hopefuls Pawlenty to announce bid for Minnesota governor MORE (D-Minn.), 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 WydenCIA declassifies memo on nominee's handling of interrogation tapes Dem senators demand Trump explain ties to Koch brothers Schumer to introduce bill to decriminalize marijuana MORE (D-Ore.), as well as Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and 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).

Calling for a vote by unanimous consent from the Senate floor would circumvent the need for Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees Trump has not invited Democrats, media to state dinner: report MORE (R-Kent.) to schedule a formal vote. But the plan would fail if any senator stood against it. 

“A single prosecutor should not have the power to hack into the phone or computer of virtually anyone in the United States,” Lee said in a press release announcing the bill. 

The new rules, approved by the Supreme Court and backed by the Justice Department, can only be halted by Congress. 

Many digital and civil rights advocates argue allowing law enforcement to use any court for a warrant will result in the government cherry-picking which courts they use to apply for warrants.