Attorney Ian Friedman and Law Clerk Brad Wolfe were given the opportunity
to contribute a column to the latest edition of
Attorney at Law Magazine. Thanks to their experience in the areas of computers and cyber-crime,
they were chosen to pen an editorial based on the recent expansion of Rule 41.
The article is primarily based around a policy that went into effect on
December 1st, 2016, which essentially gave the government permission to legally hack
into an unlimited number of computers when they are given a search warrant
for a location. This is an expansion of what was known as Rule 41 of the
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rule 41 itself is the guidelines
and instructions that govern criminal investigations.
Support for this change came from the FBI as a result of an investigation
of one of the largest child pornography forums in the world, a site known
as Playpen, back in 2015. After seizing the server, FBI agents launched
malware bugs that found more than 1,000 users of the site, who were arrested
and charged with sex crimes. However, the defendants in some of the instances
were able to have the evidence against them tossed out as illegally obtained.
The Supreme Court proposed changes to Rule 41 in April of 2016.
New Government Abilities Under Rule 41
Under these new laws, the United States government is now permitted to
remotely access electronic devices, even if they do not know the device’s
location, and search multiple computers in different locations as part
of a computer crime investigation. The Department of Justice has pointed
to this allowing for suspected cybercriminals to be caught and convicted
faster and with better evidence, but the support has not been unanimous.
Opponents have since challenged these new powers as “invasive”
and “substantive.” Several have even called it a complete
undermining of the Fourth Amendment. Even the famous fugitive Edward Snowden
tweeted “Without a debate or any new law, the rights of every American
– and basic privacy of people around the world – have been
If you or a loved one is facing charges of a computer crime, such as child
pornography, wire fraud, or even illegal hacking, you cannot afford to
face your prosecution without the assistance of a Cleveland criminal defense
Friedman & Nemeck, LLC, we are dedicated to the best interests and a positive outcome to your
case, and we fight aggressively to protect you and your rights both in
and out of the courtroom. Our commitment to excellence in practice and
exceptional client service has earned us numerous industry honors, including
a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from Avvo and recognition for outstanding
service from the Associated Civil Liberties Union.
Let us assist you with your charges! Call Friedman & Nemeck, LLC today
at 216.928.7700 and schedule your
free initial case evaluation.