A major change to Rule 41 could be passed that allows for the FBI to use malware as a “search” tool…
Malware, a malicious software, could be placed on thousands of computers with a single warrant, if Congress does not block the changes made to Rule 41 by December 1, 2016. To be honest, when I initially read this I had two thoughts. First, I am not doing anything wrong so if the government wants to “search” my computer they can. Second, if the government really wanted to “search” something, they would find a way.
However, after I think about this a bit more, what can installing malware on users’ PCs do? If these are users who are suspected of a crime, that is one thing. However, according to Wired, these thousands of computers that could be impacted are not those under suspicion. So, why infect these endpoints with malware? I am far from working for the Central Intelligence Unit, or Special Ops, but I think I am missing a piece of this puzzle.
Installing malware on innocent third-party computers could be detrimental. What if something goes wrong and the malware installed shuts down the main systems or particular programs. If it’s one person, that is one thing. But, we aren’t talking about one person, we’re talking about thousands. Therefore, more than likely we’re talking about businesses. What would you do if your business’s systems were shut down for a week, a day, or even an hour because of some malware the federal government infected you with?
Lets keep going. What if this was a medical facility? We have all heard about the ransomware attacks that have shut down operations at hospitals and clinics, so who is to say something like that couldn’t happen with this? Now, before anyone gets too antsy, I am in no way saying our government will use the malware maliciously. What I am saying is, mistakes can happen. Coding issues occur. Can we really jeopardize innocent people’s lives over the FBI’s “search”?
What do you think?
What are your thoughts on the potential changes being made to Rule 41?