Kentucky Senator Rand Paul plans to become the first Republican co-sponsor of legislation to block a pending judicial rule change that would let U.S. judges issue search warrants for remote access to computers located in any jurisdiction, his office told Reuters on Thursday.
The bill is expected to be introduced next week. Backing from Paul, a former Republican candidate for president with libertarian leanings, lends bipartisan support to an effort to undo a little-noticed modification to a text governing procedural rules for the U.S. court system that civil liberties groups warn would drastically expand the FBI’s hacking authority.
So far, that cause has largely been championed solely by Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and digital privacy advocate. He has vowed to work to stop the rule change on grounds it would allow the government to use one warrant to access and search thousands or millions of computers at once, potentially implicating those suspected of no wrongdoing.