Government Hacking: Rule 41

October 27, 2016 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Join Mozilla and Stanford CIS for the first in a series of conversations about government hacking.

On December 1, 2016, significant and controversial changes to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41 are scheduled go into effect. Today, Rule 41 prohibits a federal judge from issuing a search warrant outside of the judge’s district, with some exceptions.Traditionally, federal judges may only issue warrants that will be executed within their own districts. The revised Rule 41 would permit judges to issue search and seizure warrants for computers outside their jurisdictions, in two circumstances: if the computer’s true location has been hidden through technological means (such as Tor), or, in a computer-hacking investigation under the CFAA, if the affected computers are located in five or more districts.

This means federal investigators will be able to get a warrant to remotely access computers anywhere in the country and possibly anywhere in the world. The rule changes would also allow investigators to remotely hack into computers to seize evidence, whether the computer belongs to a suspect or to a hacking victim whose computer is now part of a botnet.

Law enforcement argues that the Rule 41 changes are procedural and are needed for the effective investigation of cybercrime, which does not operate within traditional geographic borders. Privacy advocates and technology firms decry the changes as a dangerous expansion of law enforcement’s hacking authority: it lets U.S. investigators hack into countless computers worldwide on a single warrant and opens the door to further damage to their computers.

Presented by the Stanford Center for Internet and Society and Mozilla, this event will convene experts from the fields of law enforcement, criminal defense, privacy and surveillance law, and computer science to explore and debate the complex issues raised by the proposed changes to Rule 41.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Moderator: Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties, Stanford Center for Internet and Society
  • Robert Anello, Partner, Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC
  • Jumana Musa, Sr. Privacy and National Security Counsel, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Joseph Hall, Chief Technologist and Director of the Internet Architecture Project, Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Ahmed Ghappour, Visiting Assistant Professor, UC Hastings College of the Law
  • Richard Salgado, Director, Law Enforcement and Information Security, Google, Inc.
  • Allison Bragg, Assistant United States Attorney, US Department of Justice
  • Andrew Crocker, Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Greg Brower, Deputy General Counsel, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Room 290 - Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA


Will you provide a webcast of this event for those of us not on the west coast?

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