Search Warrant Change Sparks Major Backlash From Civil Liberties Advocates

Katie Bo Williams | The Hill | Reader Supported News | May 16, 2016

battle is brewing on Capitol Hill over a seemingly small change to federal hacking powers that critics say will authorize sweeping government surveillance.

Unless Congress moves by December to block the change, judges will be allowed to grant a single warrant for multiple electronic searches in different locations — even when investigators don’t know the physical location of a device.

The fight is being waged against the backdrop of a massive government hack into one of the largest child pornography sites on the dark Web.

A judge in Massachusetts has already thrown out evidence in a case against users of the site, because without the proposed change, U.S. District Judge William Young ruled, the warrant the government used to search users’ computers was invalid.

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