A new federal law that would give the Federal Bureau of Investigation the power to seize any data it deems sensitive has been unveiled.
Key points:The new law could lead to a huge amount of data being handed over to law enforcementThe new bill would not apply to AmericansThe bill was introduced by Senator Mike LeeThe bill also raises the possibility of an online blacklistThe US government has been looking into the possibility that some Americans’ personal information could be used to spy on foreigners, according to The Washington Post.
The bill, dubbed the “Red Flag Law,” has been under consideration by members of Congress since last year.
It is expected to pass in the coming weeks, but it has been delayed for months as the FBI and other law enforcement agencies grapple with the issue of how to handle the data.
“The FBI has been working with Congress on a bill to allow the FBI to seize data held on US citizens, even those without an active criminal record,” said US Senator Mike Kelly, a Republican from Oregon.
“I think the FBI has a lot of work to do, but the Red Flag Law is a great first step.”
It is not yet clear how the new law would work.
But it could potentially open up the government to a massive amount of information on US persons held on a private server and servers in the United States, according in part to The Post.
While the bill is expected for passage in the next few weeks, its inclusion has been in the public eye as lawmakers have been discussing whether or not to pass it.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have been looking at how to deal with the growing problem of cyber espionage in recent months, with the agency seeking the help of Congress.
It has been reported that the FBI recently tried to recruit a contractor from the private security firm CrowdStrike to help it in its investigation into Russian meddling in the US election last year, and also reportedly considered hiring CrowdStrike’s cyber security chief, Michael Steinbach, to help them with its investigations.
“CrowdStrike has been engaged in investigations into Russian activities and the threat they pose to our democracy for over a decade, and we are proud to have worked with them on this critical issue,” said Matthew Levitt, CEO of CrowdStrike.
“Our team has been actively monitoring and investigating Russian activities for more than a year, including investigating possible Russian interference in our elections, and the FBI is committed to finding out what happened.”
According to a report in The Washington Times, US intelligence agencies have also been examining the Russian government’s efforts to hack US targets to obtain sensitive information and pass it on to the Kremlin.
The US intelligence community has also been concerned that Russian hackers could have gained access to the email accounts of top Democratic party officials in order to sway the US presidential election.