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 CoonsA Department of Energy foundation: An idea whose time has come We must reconcile privacy and safety in the digital era Protecting intellectual property in America is harder than ever 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 FrankenPawlenty opts out of Senate run in Minnesota EMILY’s List president: Franken did 'right thing for Minnesota' Dem pledges to ask all court nominees about sexual harassment history under oath MORE (D-Minn.), 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.), as well as Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and 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).

Calling for a vote by unanimous consent from the Senate floor would circumvent the need for 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-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.