The US Justice Department (DOJ) is seeking a transition in the criminal rules that would make the authorities to have more leeway to secretly hack into the suspected criminals' computer during criminal investigations at any times in bunches.
The proposed [PDF] change in the rules would make FBI to easily obtain warrants to secretly access suspects' computers for the evidence when the physical location of the computer is not known to them. The problem FBI and government agents increasingly face as more and more crime carried out is online, and with the help of online tools, it is easy to conceal identity of the criminal.
"This proposal ensures that courts can be asked to review warrant applications in situations where it is currently unclear what judge has that authority," Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr told Bloomberg. "The proposal makes explicit that it does not change the traditional rules governing probable cause and notice."
This new U.S. proposal to expand the ability of authorities has again held a debate over how to secure and balance the privacy and digital rights of individuals with the need to keep the nation safe. This new plan would leverage the authorities to use "zero-day exploits" on software vulnerabilities during criminal investigations and according to critics the change to the law could violate the privacy rights and could weaken overall Internet security.
"I don't think many Americans would be comfortable with the government sending code onto their computers without their knowledge or consent," Nathan Freed Wessler, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a telephone interview to Bloomberg "The power they're seeking is certainly a broad one."
The New proposal would also allow the authorities to use a single warrant to hack into thousands of botnet victim's computers in order to collect evidence and technical details of the criminals. This means to find out a single culprit who could be even a foreigner, the authorities would legally authorize themselves for spying on thousands of machines legally.
DOJ highlighted that the proposed change would allow law enforcement agencies to "use remote access" to search and monitor computers even when "the district where the media or information is located has been concealed through technological means." A single warrant could be used to search computer systems located in five or more judicial districts, of which there are 94 in the United States and currently, the judges may issue a warrant in most cases only if the property to be examined is located in their district.
"The proposed amendment would enable investigators to conduct a search and seize electronically stored information by remotely installing software on a large number of affected victim computers pursuant to one warrant issued by a single judge," committee said. "The current rule, in contrast, requires obtaining multiple warrants to do so, in each of the many districts in which an affected computer may be located."
It is clearly known to all of us that both the National Security Agencies (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have exploited several vulnerabilities to spy across the world for their own purposes and this new proposed change will definitely give them another legal authorization to carry out their spying projects secretly, and if get caught, IT'S ALL LEGAL MY FRIEND.