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Feds want an expanded ability to hack crimin al suspects’ computers
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 06:44:42 +0000 (UTC)

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/03/feds-want-an-expanded-ability-to-hack-criminal-suspects-computers/

By Cyrus Farivar
Ars Technica
March 27, 2014

The United States Department of Justice wants to broaden its ability to hack criminal suspects’ computers according to a new legal proposal that was first published by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

If passed as currently drafted, federal authorities would gain an expanded ability to conduct “remote access” under a warrant against a target computer whose location is unknown or outside of a given judicial district. It would also apply in cases where that computer is part of a larger network of computers spread across multiple judicial districts. In the United States, federal warrants are issued by judges who serve one of the 94 federal judicial districts and are typically only valid for that particular jurisdiction.

The 402-page document entitled “Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules" is scheduled to be discussed at an upcoming Department of Justice (DOJ) meeting next month in New Orleans.

Federal agents have been known to use such tactics in past and ongoing cases: a Colorado federal magistrate judge approved sending malware to a suspect’s known e-mail address in 2012. But similar techniques have been rejected by other judges on Fourth Amendment grounds. If this rule revision were to be approved, it would standardize and expand federal agents’ ability to surveil a suspect and to exfiltrate data from a target computer regardless of where it is.

[...]

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