US Supreme Court Approves Expanding FBI Hacking Powers

  • Saad Qureshi
  • Apr-30-2016

The US Supreme Court approved the demand of US Department of Justice to expand FBI’s surveillance jurisdictions, expanding them to international netizens. The request was originally made in 2013 to modernize the criminal code for the coming digital age. Opposed by various privacy groups & tech giants including Google, ACLU and Access, the new rule allows FBI to lawfully hack citizens within and outside US borders. However, the Congress holds the authority to reject the rule before 1st December 2016 otherwise the law will officially go into effect across the world.


Modernizing the Criminal Code for Billions of Computers

According to the US Department of Justice FBI can now target a computer in an unknown location. The FBI will require a single warrant to conduct unwarranted search and seizure of billions of computers at once, undermining the right to privacy while making victims look like criminals. Senator Ron Wyden, the leading advocate of user privacy in the US government has established that the new rule violates the Fourth Amendment which protects citizens from unwarranted searches and seizures.

Official Statement By Senator Ron Wyden

Unfortunately a large number of Supreme Court judges have legalized the rule, nullifying future publlib challenges to the new anti-privacy rule in light of the US Constitution. On other hand Senator Ron Wyden claims that the issue should be settled by Congress rather than the courts as the rule would treat everyone like criminals, guilty or innocent.



Studying the Anti-Privacy Ruling

Here’s all you need to know about the newly passed anti-privacy rules:

  • In 2015, cyber giant Google opposed the change claiming that the rule threatens privacy rights and cyber security of the internet users.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union has warned that the change would allow FBI to conduct mass surveillance on global computer networks, to catch one person.
  • The use of remote searches is the only mechanism to identify and catch the criminals using sophisticated anonymizing technology.
  • Congress holds the right to reject the rule before 1st December 2016.


Are We Safe?

Privacy advocates and security experts are aware of possible cyberwars between different nations. According to the new rule FBI will be able to hack computers outside the US jurisdictions, striking international data privacy laws. This would violate the sovereignty of other countries resulting in lawsuits against the FBI in International Courts, let alone the uncertainty and fear it will spread amongst netizens around the world.

Saad Qureshi

Saad Qureshi


Saad Qureshi's Biography :

Saad is a privacy advocate by day and a Dota 2 player by night. He loves to share his knowledge, experience, and insights about internet freedom and online privacy. When he is not busy blogging about the latest trend in the tech world, he is engaged in killing noobs on Dota.