FRCP Rule 41

by ronfluegge 30. November 2016 14:26

FRPC Rule 41 is the part of the United States Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that covers the search and seizure of physical and digital evidence.

Rule 41 originally granted a federal judge magistrate the authority to issue a warrant to search and seize a person or property located within that judge's district if the person or property is part of a criminal investigation or trial. In April 2016, the Judicial Conference of the United States proposed an amendment to Rule 41 that allows a federal judge magistrate to issue a warrant that allows an investigator to gain remote access to a digital device suspected in a crime, even if the device is located outside of the geographic jurisdiction of the judge issuing the warrant.

Following standard protocol for changes to federal rules, the Supreme Court passed the approved proposal on to Congress, and Congress was given until December 1, 2016 to allow or disallow the proposed changes. An important goal of the amendment to Rule 41 is to prevent criminals from hiding the location of a computing device with anonymization technology in order to make detection and prosecution more difficult.

Privacy advocates are concerned that the amendment will expand the government's authority to legally hack individuals and organizations and monitor any computer suspected of being part of a botnet. In addition to giving the government the authority to seize or copy the information on a digital device no matter where that device is located, the amendment also allows investigators who are investigating a crime that spans five or more judicial districts to go to one judge for warrants instead of having to request warrants from judges in each jurisdiction.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and more than 50 technology companies -- including Google and PayPal -- opposed the amendment and have urged Congress to carefully examine the constitutional, legal and geopoliticial ramifications of the amendment to Rule 41 before granting approval.

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Microsoft has stopped selling Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8.1

by ronfluegge 2. November 2016 09:31

As of yesterday, Microsoft has stopped selling Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to system builders. The only way to acquire a copy of these operating systems now is to buy the dwindling stock still available online. Technically, most versions of Windows 7 were pulled off the market two years ago, but Windows 7 Professional was still cleared for sale until October 31, as were all of the flavors of Windows 8.1.

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Five U.S. Nuclear Plants have Shut Down in Five Years

by ronfluegge 1. November 2016 09:30

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Generating Station was the fifth U.S. nuclear plant to shut down in the last five years.

The Omaha Public Power District cited financial concerns for the closure. At 478 MW, it was the smallest nuclear reactor in the country.

The other four nuclear plants that shuttered include Crystal River in Florida, Kewaunee in Wisconsin, San Onofre in California and Vermont Yankee in Vermont.

Multiple others have been slated for closure in the near future, as Exelon announced the Clinton plant in Illinois will close by June 2017, followed by its Quad Cities plant in Illinois by June 2018 and its Pilgrim plant in Massachusetts by June 2019.

Entergy Corporation announced it will retire its Oyster Creek plant in New Jersey in 2019, and Pacific Gas and Electric will not seek license extensions for its Diablo Canyon plant in Los Angeles. The current licenses expire in 2024 and 2025.

EIA reported the lost generation from the nuclear closures was mostly made up by natural gas, with the remainder from coal and, in the case of Vermont Yankee, electricity imports from Canada and surrounding states.

There are currently 99 operational nuclear reactors at 62 nuclear power plants.

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