The U.S. Supreme Court approved a measure on Thursday that would allow judges to issue warrants for computer searches in any jurisdiction. Civil liberties groups say it unnecessarily expands the FBI's hacking capability, while the Justice Department says it is a minor change necessary to modernize the criminal code.
Judges are normally only able to issue warrants within their own jurisdictions, which are typically small and limited to a few counties. A Justice Department spokesperson said the change is necessary due to the "anonymizing" capabilities that criminals use to conceal their identity and location, and that remote searches are the only way to track the suspects down.
Google and civil liberties groups said that the change is an attack on American's privacy and is counter to the U.S. Constitution's protections against illegal searches and seizures.