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Congress, at Last Minute, Drops Requirement to Obtain Warrant to Monitor Email

Posted By admin On December 26, 2012 @ 6:38 am In Featured Stories | Comments Disabled

All Gov [1]
Dec 26, 2012

The federal government will continue to access Americans’ emails without a warrant, after the U.S. Senate [2] dropped a key amendment to legislation now headed to the White House for approval.

Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amendment attached to theVideo Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act [3] (which deals with publishing users’ Netflix information on Facebook pages) that would have required federal law enforcement to obtain a warrant before monitoring email or other data stored remotely (i.e., the cloud).

The Senate was set to approve the video privacy bill along with the email amendment, which would have applied to a different law, the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act [4]. But then senators decided for reasons unknown to drop the amendment.

Currently, the government can collect emails and other cloud data without a warrant as long as the content has been stored on a third-party server for 180 days or more. Federal agents need only demonstrate that they have “reasonable grounds to believe” the information would be useful in an investigation.

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URLs in this post:

[1] All Gov: http://www.allgov.com/news/top-stories/congress-at-last-minute-drops-requirement-to-obtain-warrant-to-monitor-email-121225?news=846578

[2] U.S. Senate: http://www.allgov.com/departments/legislative-branch/united-states-senate?agencyid=7433

[3] Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr6671eh/pdf/BILLS-112hr6671eh.pdf

[4] 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act: http://www.justice.gov/jmd/ls/legislative_histories/pl99-508/pl99-508.html

[5] Petraeus case shows ease of government email snooping: http://www.prisonplanet.com/petraeus-case-shows-ease-of-government-email-snooping.html

[6] NSA Boss Says Agency Does Not Monitor Your Email: http://www.prisonplanet.com/nsa-boss-says-agency-does-not-monitor-your-email.html

[7] IRS Violates Fourth Amendment: http://www.prisonplanet.com/irs-violates-fourth-amendment.html

[8] IRS Reading Your Email Without Warrant A Profound Violation Of Natural Rights: http://www.prisonplanet.com/irs-reading-your-email-without-warrant-a-profound-violation-of-natural-rights.html

[9] Sen. Leahy Drops Controversial Warrantless E-mail Surveillance Bill: http://www.prisonplanet.com/sen-leahy-drops-controversial-warrantless-e-mail-surveillance-bill.html

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