FBI is now free to hack any computer in the world using any method it wants — Thanks to the Supreme court of the United States.

The US Supreme Court has given a fatal blow to the tech world and its companies after passing regulations which entitle the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to be able to hack into computers. The powers will be essentially useful in cases where there has been a cyber crime, and they need powers to hack into phones. The new rules will also give the FBI to enter the victims phones, and the legislation will take effect from December this year, that is unless the Congress, both lower and upper, decide to make up contesting legislation.

Under previous federal rules that were in force which pertained to criminal proceedings, a magistrate judge could not just issue out a search warrant unless the authorities knew where the computer or mobile device in question was. This was due to the jurisdiction matter which would come into effect.

FBI can now hack any computer anywhere in the world – whenever they want

The new rule change, which was sent to Congress as soon as it was passed, however, allows a magistrate to issue out a search warrant regardless of where the device is and whether the know about its whereabouts or not. In most cases the location pf the device would not be known because most cyber criminals used cloaking techniques and methods such as the Tor browser. Over a million are known to use the location distorting browser for legit reasons to browse Facebook and other internet related social networks, but in those one million, there are also some bad crooks.

Privacy advocates and activists who have been following the news are concerned about the intrusion that will follow. One of the advocates, Kevin Bankston, director of Open Technology Institute, said in a press release that no matter how the FBI tried to block and sugar coat what they will be doing is simply government hacking. He said, ‘whether the FBI changes it to remote access search or network investigative technique, the issue was still that it boils down to hacking. And thanks to the rule change there would be a lot more of it now.

One visiting professor at the University of California Hastings Law School, Ahmed Ghappour, said the law change was “possibly the broadest expansion of extraterrestrial surveillance power since the FBIs beginning.”

The Supreme Court judgement also allows the FBI to hack into computers that have already been hacked. Botnet hacked computers are some of the most common whereby they allow hackers to take over and spread spam and distribute viruses through many zombie innocent computers.

 

The Supreme Court accepted changes are now up to the Congress to debate on whether or not they should put the legislation into action, or amend it so as for it not to put other groups of people into tight positions. If they do not oppose the Supreme Court approved amendments, then they take effect from December 1.

Oregon Democrat Sen Ron Wyden said on Thursday after the passing of the laws that, “I plan to introduce legislation to reverse these amendments shortly, and to request details on the opaque process for the authorization and use of hacking techniques by the government.”

He also expressed concern over how the new amendments would take a huge toll on the American people’s private life. And how the extension of the government’s surveillance power might be an unfair advantage.

Ali Raza

Ali is a freelance journalist, having 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.