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 CoonsGraham: Flynn should lose security clearance On The Money: Senators propose 'crushing' Russia sanctions | Trump calls for food stamp work requirements in farm bill | China tells US to 'chill' on trade | Apple hits trillion in value Let’s honor public service 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 FrankenThe Hill's Morning Report — GOP seeks to hold Trump’s gains in Midwest states Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries Tina Smith defeats former Bush ethics lawyer in Minnesota Dem primary MORE (D-Minn.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGOP leader criticizes Republican senators for not showing up to work Ex-Virginia GOP Senate candidate shares offensive voicemail allegedly left by Charlottesville rally organizer Facebook cracks down on 3D guns MORE (R-Utah) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenGroup files lawsuit to force Georgia to adopt paper ballots Treasury releases proposed rules on major part of Trump tax law Rubio slams Google over plans to unveil censored Chinese search engine MORE (D-Ore.), as well as Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeCook shifts two House GOP seats closer to Dem column Five races to watch in the Texas runoffs Five Republican run-offs to watch in Texas 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 McConnellGOP leader criticizes Republican senators for not showing up to work Reforms can stop members of Congress from using their public office for private gain Name change eludes DHS cyber wing, spurring frustration 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.