Getty/Justin Sullivan Google founders Larry Page (L) Sergey Brin talk with members of the media at Google Press Day 2006 May 10, 2006 in Mountain View, California Google has publicly expressed its opposition to new laws in the US that would make it legal for the government to hack into computers.
A post on the official Google public policy blog outlines the tech giant's opposition to the new proposal. It says that it has "monumental" concerns over the law.
What the US government is proposing is a law that would allow it to be able to hack into computers in the US if it has a warrant.
The main thing that Google is worried about is an expansion of the proposed law that could let the government legally hack into computers in other countries.
The government wants to be able to hack computers that have been hidden using software like a virtual private network. That means that their exact location is unknown. Google fears that the government won't be able to tell where the computers it's hacking into are, and it could hack into computers in other countries.
Google's blog post warns:
The proposed amendment would likely end up being used by U.S. authorities to directly search computers and devices around the world. Even if the intent of the proposed change is to permit U.S. authorities to obtain a warrant to directly access and retrieve data only from computers and devices within the U.S., there is nothing in the proposed change to Rule 41 that would prevent access to computers and devices worldwide.
The change seemingly means that the limit on warrants is excused in any instance where a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is set up. Banks, online retailers, communications providers and other businesses around the world commonly use VPNs to help keep their networks and usersâ€™ information secure. A VPN can obscure the actual location of a network, however, and thus could be subject to a remote search warrant where it would not have been otherwise.
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