A startling new power for James Comey and Donald Trump
The federal government has a new plan to hack Americans’ computers.
And if Congress doesn’t do something by December 1st, Donald Trump and the FBI will get expansive new hacking powers that will require only one judge to sign one warrant to potentially hack computers all over the world.
I’ve introduced a bill, the Stopping Mass Hacking Act (S.2952), that will stop this change from going through.
And, while it has Republican and Democratic co-sponsors, with our deadlocked Congress, I need your help.
The Justice Department is using an obscure rule of federal criminal procedure – called Rule 41 – to sneak this expansion through.
The DOJ says it’s just a small change to how judges issue warrants. But this is much more than just a small change.
Right now, when an FBI agent wants to hack computers of potential suspects or innocent victims of malware attacks, it has to get a warrant from a judge where the crime occurred.
That gives government hacking clear judicial oversight to make sure our Fourth Amendment rights aren’t violated and stops the FBI from hacking whomever it wants.
But if the DOJ’s “small change” goes through, the FBI can shop around until it finds the right judge to sign just one warrant to hack any computers related to their case. That could mean hacking millions of computers all over the world with just one warrant.
And Congress hasn’t even held a public hearing to debate this expansion of government hacking and its potential consequences for the American people!
We have mere days to make sure Congress stops the FBI from getting mass hacking powers.
If enacted, my bill would block the rule change from automatically going through on December 1st.
My bill would give Congress more time to have the public debate the American people deserve before we hand over expansive new hacking powers to the federal government – that would have consequential, unforeseen circumstances.
Some in Congress are saying “let’s wait and see what the FBI does with this new power.”
But do we really trust FBI Director Comey to be honest about how the FBI implements these expansive new hacking powers after he’s lied about his anti-encryption stance to Congress and politicized the FBI this election cycle?
With just two weeks until December 1st, it’s up to us to make sure Congress knows that the American people are demanding action to stop mass hacking.
Thank you for standing with me.