The whole New Zealand-based spying operation against Kim Dotcom and his Megaupload co-defendants was illegal, the High Court has ruled. The revelation appears in a newly released decision, which shows the GCSB spy agency refusing to respond to questions about its activities on the basis that could jeopardize national security.
IF LAW ENFORCEMENT was forced to get a warrant to obtain information about a suspect’s whereabouts from the phone providers, it would be “crippling,” according to James Baker, general counsel at the FBI.“I don’t know how we would handle that,” said Baker, speaking on a panel at the American Bar Association’s annual conference on national security law in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. The executive branch would suffer from “a huge amount of uncertainty and confusion while we are doing investigations.”
In a big interview with the German media outlet Der Spiegel, President Obama was asked about his interest in pardoning Ed Snowden in response to the big campaign to get him pardoned. Obama’s response was that he could not, since Snowden has not been convicted yet
No one in Congress has voted on this legal update. It means a warrant granted somewhere within the US can be executed on the other side of the country – or the other side of the planet.
The change, approved by the Supreme Court, is in Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Right now, if law enforcement wants to hack a PC, they have to ask a judge for a warrant in the jurisdiction where it is located. With the rule change, they could do this to any computer anywhere in the US or the world.
As a bonus, the change would also allow law enforcement – without a warrant – free rein to hack into computers that have already been hacked. So, for example, if you have a virus infection then law enforcement can go through your files at will.