Google opposes US govt’s plan to ‘hack any computer’

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Google has strongly opposed the US Justice Department’s proposal to amend Rule 41 of the federal rules of criminal procedure, which will expand the FBI’s authority to search and seize digital data.

The search major says that it will allow the federal authorities to hack ‘any facility" in the world.

Google said in a submission to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules, "The proposed amendment substantively expands government’s current authority under Rule 41 and raises a number of monumental and highly complex constitutional, legal and geopolitical concerns.

"Google urges the Committee to reject the proposed amendment and leave the expansion of the government’s investigative and technological tools if any are necessary or appropriate, to Congress."

Several tech firms allege that separate legal moves add up to extraterritorial efforts by US authorities to dodge existing processes to deal with cross-border probes.

The search major’s latest attempt follows similar move by Microsoft to oppose a permit from a New York court seeking it to surrender a user’s email stored on a server in Ireland.

Both firms have argued that US authorities are going beyond their territorial reach and have to rather boost the network of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties with other nations governing cross-border probes.

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