Judicial panel rewrites Fourth Amendment to make spying on citizens easier
As Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, pictured above, heads the Judicial Conference. Its committee of federal judges rewrote Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The rule governs Fourth Amendment searches and seizures.
The new rules made it legal for the FBI to hack electronic devices anywhere in the world. To include remote surveillance. With a single warrant.
It was submitted to Congress on Feb. 28th, 2016.
The FBI began using it before it became law Dec. 1st. Congress can choose to vote it down. If they pass and skip the vote, it becomes law.
Donald J. Trump was elected President on Nov. 9th, 2016.
Previously, hacking and surveillance warrants were restricted to a single court district, on specific electronic devices, in known locations.
The FBI has been pressing for the law change since 2014.
The FBI hacked into 8,000 computers in 120 different countries with one warrant during an investigation of a child pornography website. The original warrant was approved in 2015.
When James Comey was FBI Director, he was in favor of expanding the hacking rules. He said previous investigations were hampered "for some of our most important investigations" like sex slave and organized crime cases.
In some cases, Comey said, “We’re unable to go to a magistrate judge (because) we can’t say for sure where the computer is.”
Chief Justice Robert's 251-page report which became law was dated April 28, 2016.
It is called, "Amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure 2016--Transmittal to Congress".