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 CoonsWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure 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.

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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 FrankenCNN publishes first Al Franken op-ed since resignation Political world mourns loss of comedian Jerry Stiller Maher to Tara Reade on timing of sexual assault allegation: 'Why wait until Biden is our only hope?' MORE (D-Minn.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Defense: Air Force general officially becomes first African American service chief | Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure | State Department's special envoy for Iran is departing the Trump administration Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure Trump signs major conservation bill into law MORE (R-Utah) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Hillicon Valley: Facebook removes Trump post | TikTok gets competitor | Lawmakers raise grid safety concerns MORE (D-Ore.), as well as Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and 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).

Calling for a vote by unanimous consent from the Senate floor would circumvent the need for Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal 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.