Bill Introduced To Push Back Approval Of DOJ's Proposed Rule 41 Changes

from the buying-time dept

Unless someone steps up to push this off course, the DOJ’s proposed changes to Rule 41 will become law December 1. That’s the key part: doing something. All that has to happen is nothing for the changes to become law. The December 1st date plays right into the DOJ’s hands, arriving between two major holidays when legislators have other things on their minds, including the annual Congressional fisticuffs over the federal budget.

The DOJ says the changes are no big deal. Just an “update” on outdated laws. Oddly, it’s never shown any interest in updating any other outdated laws (like the CFAA) or pushed for a reconsideration of the Third Party Doctrine, which traces back nearly four decades. When it comes to expansions of power, though, it’s apparently time for some “updating.”

The proposed changes would allow the FBI to hack thousands of computers around the world with a single warrant, much like it already did during two child porn investigations. Unfortunately for the FBI, its warrant is being met with successful challenges because the agency clearly violated Rule 41 jurisdictional limitations.

In addition, the DOJ wants permission to break into “compromised” computers and poke around inside them without the permission or knowledge of the owners of these computers. It also wants to treat anything that anonymizes internet users or hides their locations to be presumed acts of a guilty mind. The stripping of jurisdictional limits not only grants the FBI worldwide access for digital seizures and searches, but also encourages it to go venue shopping for judicial rubber stamps.

Earlier this year, Sen. Ron Wyden introduced a bill aimed at stopping the DOJ’s Rule 41 push. Not much has been heard about this bill since, so Wyden (along with Sens. Coons, Lee, Franken, and Daines) has introduced another bill seeking to prevent a “do nothing” approval of expanding hacking/search powers. The “Review the Rule Act” [PDF] is about as succinct as legislation gets. Here’s the complete summary of the proposed legislation (via Naked Security):

To delay the amendments to rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Wyden’s earlier bill hasn’t gained any traction and the hopes of a complete rejection before December 1st are nearly nonexistent. So, this bill just asks for a little more time to discuss the implications of the changes. This would move the default approval date back seven months to July 1, 2017.

This would allow representatives more time to fully consider the DOJ’s proposal, freed from the time crunch of major holidays and annual federal budget discussions. There’s far too much at stake to simply allow the DOJ to roll its Rule 41 ball downhill and past a distracted Congress. Many legislators like procrastination as much as they like not doing anything, so signing off on this proposal shouldn’t require much effort, mental or otherwise.

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Comments on “Bill Introduced To Push Back Approval Of DOJ's Proposed Rule 41 Changes”

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Anonymous Coward says:

It also wants to treat anything that anonymizes internet users or hides their locations to be presumed acts of a guilty mind. The stripping of jurisdictional limits not only grants the FBI worldwide access for digital seizures and searches, but also encourages it to go venue shopping for judicial rubber stamps.

So if people, who are not living in the US, take steps to try and avoid the US spying on their business, they are guilty of something, and their machines can be attacked. That attitude is painting a huge target on the US, and it is its citizens, and not the politicians, who will suffer.

Capstan says:

Re: DOJ Outlaws


“They do not write law.”

Silly boy, you somehow think the US Federal Government and DOJ operate “lawfully” under the US Constitution ?

They do not and have not for at least century.

Dozens of Federal Executive agencies (DOJ, IRS, FDA, SEC, etc) have extensive law-making power… in open defiance of the Constitution. Few Americans know or care.

Executive “laws” are usually called “regulations” or “policies” or “directives”. They are all laws from a citizens perspective. Most US “laws” exist in this unconstitutional category… almost half a million of them.

American “laws” are so numerous,complex & constantly changing— that no one can possibly understand them. Laws are supposed to shield citizens against tyrannical government, but instead are now used as a government weapon to control the populace.

Rule of Law is long gone in America.

Personanongrata says:

Faith No More

Bill Introduced To Push Back Approval Of DOJ’s Proposed Rule 41 Changes

It is no great mystery that when government and it’s agents continuously seek to circumvent the Constitution via overt/covert schemes that use expedient circumstances as the rational in order to further empower themselves at the direct expense of every citizens Inalienable Rights to Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness people justifiably will lose faith in governments institutions.

Rekrul says:

What’s the point? Even if the attempt to push the date to next July is successful, nothing will change. There won’t any discussion. Congress will just sit there with their thumbs up their asses until a week or so before the deadline when someone like Wyden will try to block it again and the cycle will repeat until the changes eventually get implemented.

Anonymous Coward says:

I must have missed when the broader world decided the FBI had the right to do whatever it wanted, wherever it wanted, irrespective of location. I must have missed the part when US jurisdiction was expanded to include all of Earth.

Or is it just because non-US citizen == terrorist?

The hypocrisy and arrogance is astounding. Non-US citizen hacks US interests? Have them deported to US for charges immediately! US interests hack non-US citizen? Oh that’s perfectly fine; completely different scenario.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: who will follow suit,

Now…. if this law 41 passes …….. its just a matter of time …….before every law enforcement agency in the US, will want the same. As it stands today the law enforcement agencies and there departments lie, cheat, and hide the truth from the public. Can you image what will happen if this Law come into fruition ……

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Well said!! We have cowardly, delusional, greedy short-dicks that pull the strings behind the scenes to keep perpetual war going, and the money flowing in. I’ve never heard of a never-ending war when you have no real enemy. How the fuck would you even know if you won a war on terror? Do you get an email? Does some terrorist organization send out a tweet?

Sure, everyone on the planet hates the United States, but it’s 100% understandable. We’re the worst terrorist regime that has ever existed in the history of mankind!!

The following is a must read!!

Anonymous Coward says:

I’M NOT A COWARD….. I just know that in every community in the bay area our civil rights are violated, every day by the law enforcement agencies that are suppose to protect us. Our community does not even know how bad it is or how the laws are being violated and swept under the rug, due to the fact that law enforcement polices it self, and that’s how they are able to get away with it…………..When i filed a complaint the original case number they gave me vanished and was replaced by law enforcement with another case number. The complaint I filed could not be traced through the original case number. Therefor my civil rights complaint was completely covered up, hidden and they were free to make it go away…………..And you expect me to give my name are you JOKING!!!!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Mr Wyden could introduce a bill to say the sky is green. Introducing a bill requires nothing more than a decent printer and some creative writing skills. It’s not news, hundreds if not thousands of bills are introduced each year that have absolutely no chance of even making it to whatever stage comes before debate or discussion. The value is only in the slow news day or narrow focus website coverage that the person introducing the bill might get.

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