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At midnight tonight, law enforcement will be able to hack into computers located anywhere

It’s been a bad week for data privacy and security, and at midnight tonight it’s going to get worse. That’s when the Supreme Court’s (quiet) changes to Rule 41 in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure take effect, allowing federal judges to issue warrants for searching computers far outside their jurisdiction. U.S. law enforcement will now be able to remotely hack and search computers of unknown location, computers whose locations have been obscured by digital means, and even computers of cybercrime victims. Congress was not consulted on the rule change.

“We had thought that maybe a new Congress would have prevented the new changes, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to be in the cards,” said Cooper Levenson attorney and encryption expert Peter Fu. “We believe that our private clients are about to receive a tremendous increase in subpoenas…” MS