Supreme Court Grants FBI Decentralized Hacking Warrants

The U.S. Supreme Court passed a proposed change to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, one of the main bodies of law that governs the powers and behavior of the FBI. Previously, Rule 41 stated that a judge may only hand out a warrant to be issued within the district they represent, but how do you work within that system when you’re tracking someone whose location has been technologically obscured?



The new version of Rule 41, approved on Thursday, removes the requirement in cases where the suspects location cannot be realistically obtained. This means the FBI can ask for, and receive, warrants to hack suspects anywhere in the world.

This comes in the aftermath of a number of legal decisions against the FBI, stemming from the jurisdictional issues presented by the former unrevised Rule 41. The U.S. congress may intervene to stop this rule change, but it’s doubtful that it will choose to do so, especially in an election year. The Supreme Court also changed Rules 4 and 45 in the same decision, but they’re not considered as centrally important by

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