Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden decried on Friday the US Supreme Court’s “radical” approval for the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to hack into computers outside its jurisdiction.
The amended Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure approved on Thursday prescribes a magistrate judge to issue a warrant that allows searching, seizing or copying data even outside the jurisdiction where the investigated crime was carried out. The judge could not approve the warrant request without knowledge of the computer’s location under previous rules.
“Unbelievable: FBI sneaks radical expansion of power through courts, avoiding public debate,” Snowden tweeted in reaction to the Supreme Court authorization.”
Explanatory notes to the new rules defend the expanded hacking powers “because of the use of technology such as anonymizing software.” It is argued that the amendment would “eliminate the burden of attempting to secure multiple warrants in numerous district” in criminal investigations.
The rules take effect on December 1 and will govern all proceedings in criminal cases.
The news story that Snowden accompanied with his comments, published by the investigative website The Intercept early Friday, explains that US lawmakers have until December 1 to propose legislation modifying or rejecting the proposed changes.