Law enforcement hacking declared search under Fourth Amendment

"Riana Pfefferkorn, cryptography fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, said the issue could be resolved by Congress first with the decision on "a pending change to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which governs the issuance of search and seizure warrants by federal judges."

"The rule change would expressly authorize law enforcement to get 'a warrant to use remote access to search electronic storage media and to seize or copy electronically stored information,'" Pfefferkorn told SearchSecurity.

The change to Rule 41 has been approved by the Supreme Court, but Pfefferkorn said it faces opposition in Congress. "Sen. Ron Wyden has introduced a bill that would stop this change from going into effect, which it will on Dec. 1, unless Congress acts to stop it. If it does go into effect, the Texas court's ruling will be superfluous because the revised rule expressly authorizes government hacking like this and says it is a search.""