Google Says More FBI Power Means “Government Hacking”

Google is opposing a plan to expand FBI power to search and seize Internet data which the tech titan said makes it possible for the agency to hack any facility in the world.

Google sent a letter Tuesday to the the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules, a committee consisting mainly of judges that decides federal rules including those that rule the FBI. The committee will take its input, along with 37 others, before taking action.

Google said the new rule would lead to "government hacking of any facility" and gives too much power to the FBI. The new rules would give agents the ability to raid servers all over the globe and remotely search computers with a concealed or encrypted location. 

The U.S. Justice Department is essentially saying that the old way of issuing warrants doesn't work in the digital age, so it needs them to be widened so it can search computer outside a judicial district. -- or anywhere in the world. Previously, a warrant would have to signed by a judge in the same district.

“The government is seeking a troubling expansion of its power to surreptitiously hack into computers, including using malware,"  American Civil Liberties Union principal technologist, Christopher Soghoian told the Guardian. "Although this proposal is cloaked in the garb of a minor procedural update, in reality it would be a major and substantive change that would be better addressed by Congress.”

Google argues that innocent citizens' private information can be discovered and sifted through as the federal agency looks for more incriminating material, as well as the U.S. government "undermining diplomatic" ties by extending its jurisdiction internationally.

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