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Rule 41 Expands Warrants for Hacks, TOR

Tuesday, December 13, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Mary Mack
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The Amendment to the Federal Rules of Evidence 41 quietly went into effect on December 1, 2016.  Designed to address anonymizing internet transmissions, hacking and botnet attacks, the rule change expands the power of magistrate judges to issue warrants outside of their jurisdiction to include connected computers and event computers of hacking victims. 

As legal departments and the law firms and service providers increase security via cloaking technologies, familiarity with the new amendment will be critical in protecting privilege.

The new amendment reads:

(6) a magistrate judge with authority in any district where activities related to a crime may have occurred has authority to issue a warrant to use remote access to search electronic storage media and to seize or copy electronically stored information located within or outside that district if:

(A) the district where the media or information is located has been concealed through technological means; or

(B) in an investigation of a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(5), the media are protected computers that have been damaged without authorization and are located in five or more districts.


Jessica Condit (@JessCondit) of Engaget has a technologist’s analysis of the new authority.

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