SPONSORED:

Google, ACLU call to delay government hacking rule

Google, ACLU call to delay government hacking rule
© Getty

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 McConnellWhat the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship Democrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill McConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidNevada governor signs law making state first presidential primary Infighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms Lobbying world MORE (D-Nev.), plus House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanZaid Jilani: Paul Ryan worried about culture war distracting from issues 'that really concern him' The Memo: Marjorie Taylor Greene exposes GOP establishment's lack of power The Hill's 12:30 Report - Senators back in session after late-night hold-up 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. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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 LeahyBipartisan lawmakers want Biden to take tougher action on Nicaragua Biden budget expands government's role in economy House narrowly approves .9B Capitol security bill after 'squad' drama MORE (D-Vt.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot Matt Stoller says cheerleading industry shows why antitrust laws are 'insufficient' Senate chaos: Johnson delays exit as votes pushed to Friday MORE (R-Utah) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenNew Alzheimer's drug sparks backlash over FDA, pricing The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Bipartisan group reaches infrastructure deal; many questions remain Senate panel advances nominations for key Treasury positions MORE (D-Ore.), and Rep. Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeSheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade Senate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion Texas New Members 2019 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.