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Justice Department seeks to expand hacking ability in criminal investigations

[Photo: Salticide/Flickr CC]
[Photo: Salticide/Flickr CC]
If the Department of Justice (DOJ) has its way, federal search warrants could soon allow law enforcement officials to hack into the computers of individuals suspected of various crimes.

Law enforcement officials have been remotely hacking into computers of suspected criminals for years, according to recent media reports. But before cops can remotely access a suspect’s computer, they must first obtain a specific federal warrant from a court that has jurisdiction in the area where the computer is located.

That requires officers to have knowledge of a computer’s location, something prosecutors say is becoming increasingly difficult with the recent popularity of anonymizing tools such as proxy servers and routing software like Tor.

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