Quest: Rule 41, Search & Seizure

As of December 1, 2016, The US Government allows its federal law enforcement officers (read, FBI) to  (with a warrant) hack into any phone and computer, including potentially public libraries, bank records, etc. and seize whatever information it wishes too within and potentially outside the borders of the United States. Key ingredients of the rule are based on “suspicion” and “fear.” The rule was adopted by an advisory committee on criminal rules (Judicial Conference of the USA.) and supported by a majority of the US Supreme Court, allowing for a sweeping expansion of the government to engage in surveillance and hacking. The implications reflect back to the Fourth Amendment (privacy) and First Amendment (instilling fear of speaking and writing down one’s ideas).