The FBI is quietly plotting to ease existing warrant requirements to make a quicker path for them to get their hands on more of Americans’ electronic communications.

The National Journal has the details:

The Justice Department has petitioned a judicial advisory committee to amend a rule that specifies under what conditions magistrate judges can grant the government search warrants.

The provision, known as Rule 41 of the federal rules of criminal procedure, typically allows judges to issue search warrants only within their judicial district. But the government has asked to alter this restriction to allow judges to approve electronic surveillance to find and search a computer’s contents regardless of its physical location, even if the device is suspected of being abroad.

The proposed measures will make it easier for the feds to find judges to rubberstamp their increasingly frequent demands for electronic data. It’s all to fight those elusive terrorists, according to the feds, but watchdog groups and technology professionals are not buying it. They feel that the revised policy on warrants will be rife for abuse.

According to the article, there is fear that the “rule change could be applied to large computer networks… and breach the privacy of all users communicating via that network” and potentially “threaten the Fourth Amendment’s strict limitations on government search and seizures, and allow the FBI to violate the sovereignty of foreign countries.”

This could mean even more Constitutional abuses that strain relations with foreign nations even further, as if American diplomatic credibility wasn’t damaged enough with the revelation that the NSA was spying on foreign leaders. The FBI, along with their NSA cohorts, do not seem to care much about America’s position in the world. Raw power is what they covet, and the cost is immaterial.

The leadership in Washington D.C. has us going in the wrong direction. If Snowden’s NSA leaks showed us anything, it is that too much unaccountable government power is a bad thing. The problem is not that the feds are too limited, it is that they have too much power at their disposal. When they can wield this power behind closed doors, it poses as great of a threat to our liberties as any foreign threat.

What is especially disconcerting is the federal response to the increased public awareness of their unconstitutional behavior. No accountability measures have been made. The habitual lying has continued. It’s business-as-usual in Washington D.C. and the NSA revelations have only created a mandate for them to implement their agenda at a frenzied pace. This is completely unacceptable.

The feds just won’t stop their illicit behavior. They know no limits. They will keep taking until there is nothing left, until they have everything, and they are all-powerful and unstoppable. Whether they are doing this to protect America or not is subject to debate, but it is not debatable that policies like ubiquitous spying put our rights in severe jeopardy. If this type of power falls into the wrong hands, there is nothing stopping the formation of a totalitarian dictatorship that puts Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia to shame.

This is the grim reality that we are potentially looking at, and the behavior of the FBI, NSA and other federal bureaucracies are contributing to the danger. Their lack of restraint has already gutted the rule of law, and that is just the beginning. The feds have already demonstrated that they will not stop on their own volition. They have come too far in advancing their programs to give up now. That is why we must take bold action before it is too late.

Our plan takes the power from Washington D.C. and allows us reform them on our own terms rather than theirs. We offer model legislation that can grind down unjust federal policies like illegal spying and similar 4th Amendment violations. By denying them the help they need at the state level, the feds can be immediately cut down to size. This can be enacted without having to deal with the Congress, federal judges, lawyers, bureaucrats, red tape, lobbyists and all the trappings of the Beltway. Join us, and help our cause to preserve anonymity and privacy rights in the digital age

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