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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 CoonsDem senators urge Pompeo to reverse visa policy on diplomats' same-sex partners 15 Saudis identified in disappearance of Washington Post columnist The Senate needs to cool it 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 FrankenMinnesota GOP Senate candidate compared Michelle Obama to a chimp in Facebook post Former campaign aide to New Jersey governor says she was sexually assaulted by his ex-staffer Prosecutor drops some charges against Harvey Weinstein MORE (D-Minn.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenators pledge action on Saudi journalist’s disappearance Bernie Sanders: US should pull out of war in Yemen if Saudis killed journalist Senators warn Trump that Saudi relationship is on the line MORE (R-Utah) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenUS to open trade talks with Japan, EU, UK Poll: Dem incumbent holds 5-point lead in Oregon governor's race Trump, Feinstein feud intensifies over appeals court nominees 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 McConnellGraham: I hope Dems 'get their ass kicked' for conduct around Kavanaugh Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' 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.