Tech groups petition lawmakers to delay Rule 41 changes
A coalition of tech and privacy groups are calling on legislators to delay changes to Rule 41 that would allow judges to issue warrants to remotely access computers located in any jurisdiction.
The letter, sent to Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), asked the Congressional leaders to lawmakers to support a last-ditch effortfrom a bi-partisan group of legislators to delay authorization of proposed changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
The bill, known as the Review the Rule Act, aims to delay until July 2017 amendments that would grant the government access to seek warrants to hack computers in any jurisdiction. If no action is taken, the proposed amendments will take effect on December 1.
Lawmakers have made previous attempts to block the controversial amendment. Earlier this month, a Congressional aide told SC Media that he does not believe Congress has an interest in blocking the proposed changes, considering the recent election results.
“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 groups wrote in the public letter to lawmakers.
“Government hacking, like wiretapping, can be much more privacy invasive than traditional searches” the coalition wrote. The letter was signed by a coalition of 26 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), New America’s Open Technology Institute, R Street Institute, Google, and other groups.