Google warns about US plans to hack into world’s computers

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Crescent International

Jumada' al-Ula' 07, 1436 2015-02-26

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

The US is a virtual police state where everything an individual does is monitored. America's notorious spy agencies now want to extend this power to hack into any computer in the world. The proposal has come from an Advisory Committee of the US Justice Department. What kind of justice is being proposed and what happened to the independence and sovereignty of other countries and the privacy of individuals?

Washington DC,
February 26, 2015, 08:13 EST

Google is opposing attempts by the US government to search and digitize digital date, which will enable it to “hack any facility in the world.” Given Google’s own close links with the US government, this warning shows the extent of the danger posed to web and citizen privacy, turning the world into a digital version of George Orwell’s Big Brother.

In a post on its public policy blog, Google voiced its concerns on the matter. In the blog, Google says that increasing the FBI’s powers set out in search warrants would raise “monumental and highly complex constitutional, legal and geopolitical concerns that should be left to Congress to decide”. Google also highlighted the FBI’s desire to “remotely” search computers that have concealed their location, either through encryption or by obscuring their IP addresses using anonymity services.

this warning shows the extent of the danger posed to web and citizen privacy

Those government searches, Google says, “may take place anywhere in the world. This concern is not theoretical. … [T]he nature of today’s technology is such that warrants issued under the proposed amendment will in many cases end up authorizing the government to conduct searches outside the United States.” The changes to federal law are being made by the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure, at the request of the Justice department.

The Advisory Committee is targeting the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41, which prohibits the federal judge issuing search warrants to the FBI from issuing warrants outside his or her jurisdiction with some exceptions. With respect to the FBI’s growing control over Internet traffic, the Advisory Committee recommends treating the Internet as one of these “exceptions,” allowing the FBI to procure search warrants for anyone, anywhere on earth. This will affect all transactions on the Web, including transactions by banks, commercial organizations, schools, etc.

As Google noted on its blog; “the change seemingly means that the limit on warrants is excused in any instance where a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is set up. Banks, online retailers, communications providers and other businesses around the world commonly use VPNs to help keep their networks and users’ information secure. A VPN can obscure the actual location of a network, however, and thus could be subject to a remote search warrant where it would not have been otherwise.”

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