Rule 41 is a rule in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure titled “Rule 41. Search and Seizure.” This rule governs how the government must act when they try to get a search warrant and what they can do once they have it. As you would expect, it used to be straight forward; you had to get a warrant for every device you wanted to hack and had to get it from a judge in the area in which the device or person was. Now that has all changed and most Americans have no idea what that means.
The US government now only requires the signature of one judge to hack all devices connected to a single suspect regardless of where they are in the US. Anyone can see this is a huge change from what everyone would expect. That is why privacy and civil liberties groups are determined to challenge the amendments to Rule 41. They contend the US will now have too much surveillance power and could harm individuals’ privacy rights.
Potentially innocent people could be subjected to surveillance if their computer is used by a hacker to commit a crime. It is not uncommon for a normal person’s computer to have a virus or backdoor that allows the hacker to use its IP address (the way the computer is identified) to carry out crimes. The owner of that computer could do nothing wrong and even more frightening, the computer could not even be there. There are companies that provide physical addresses for everyone’s individual IP addresses. Law enforcement then use these services to find their suspects. The problem comes up when the companies can’t find the address and they set a default location. One farm in Kansas found out what its like to be the default for every unmappable IP address out there.
It is entirely possible that all of us could be targeted under this new rule and the government doesn’t have to let us know. Before the amendment, law enforcement agencies had to let you know if they were serving a warrant against you, now they just have to give a “reasonable effort” of making contact. So they (FBI or DEA) could be monitoring you right now, you’d have no clue, and they would have no legal obligation to let you know.
Do you think Trump will help?
Like it or not, Edward Snowden is a SPY and should be tried as a SPY! He has stolen invaluable information and damaged us with other nations
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2014
What is equally scary is the fact that Donald Trump thinks Edward Snowden is a spy and not a patriot! Trump doesn’t care that the United States spied on its citizens, just that one of those citizens spoke out against it. For those of you that don’t know, Edward Snowden copied and released documents from the NSA that exposed them to be willfully ignoring the constitution. No matter what happens with Rule 41, always make sure to protect yourself if you need it.