Rule 41: Americans Should Be Concerned About Hacking, But Not Just The Hacking Of Foreign Governments
The new year has started with a host of media coverage on Russian hacking and how this may have had an influence on the outcome of the US presidential elections. But it makes us wonder: don’t US government agencies hack as well? Isn’t the CIA known to influence foreign elections and get involved in “foreign nation-building” exercises? And finally, shouldn’t Americans be equally concerned about their government’s hacking of US citizens?
Frankly, all the hoopla regarding foreign governments hacking into US databases and servers appears that it could be yet another big media farce. It’s hypocritical, deceiving and politically motivated. However, does anybody even buy this nonsense?!
First of all, hacking has been part of the world we live in for years. WikiLeaks, and the hacking that goes with it, is nothing new. It is the reason why cybersecurity has advanced to become a leading sector with billions and billions being invested. It is nothing new or mind-boggling that government agencies – and not just of the Russian and Chinese variety – are champion hackers. In fact, the US government is known to be employer number one of top talent at top dollar.
Secondly, yes, you can be assured that Russians are great at hacking. In fact, government hackers are so great that they can hack without being “identified” or “caught”. That’s the true success criterion amongst state-of-the-art hackers: doing it secretly. Therefore, you have to wonder whether US intelligence knows for a fact that it was the Russians.
Finally, US foreign policies have not been exactly void of foreign government manipulations and power plays. Recent history points toward something called the “Arab Spring”. This “Spring” has in fact led to stark destabilization of the entire region. Didn’t American policies have a hand that? Isn’t the CIA known to regularly get involved in foreign elections and even actively conspire to overthrow existing regimes? This started in earnest in 1953, when the CIA planned and orchestrated a coup in Iran, overthrowing the legally installed government of Iran’s prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh. And let’s not forget arguably the most famous CIA intervention: The Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba in 1961.
So, we question the relevance of these hacking stories. Of course, Democrats are still digesting their loss. That’s understandable. And we probably can’t expect any better from a leftist media. However, we wonder why the likes of John McCain are making this such an issue. And, we wonder even more why the American people aren’t similarly upset about the hacking and snooping the US government has been up to on its own people.
Digital search warrants – U.S. Supreme Court approves Rule 41
As of December 1st, the US government massively increased the power of judges to provide digital search warrants across the US and potentially even across the border. Up to now, judges only had authority within their own districts.
This has ignited concerns over “forum shopping”, in which law enforcement would be seeking warrants in districts where a judge is most likely to grant them.
“The expanded search power, known as ‘Rule 41’, is intended to make it easier for the FBI to carry out complex computer investigations. Until now, the government could only carry out a search of computers located in the district where the federal judge granted the warrant—typically only a few counties in a given state.”
Freedom and privacy is actively being eroded in America, bit by bit. Why does the media not give this similar coverage and attention? It’s all smoke and mirrors. Hopefully, the Trump administration will take a different stance on these matters. However, if you are American and want to protect yourself from the increasing intrusion, you need to consider alternate strategies.