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Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants

Posted By admin On November 20, 2012 @ 11:11 am In Featured Stories,Tile | Comments Disabled

Declan McCullagh
CNet [1]
Nov 20, 2012

A Senate proposal touted [2] as protecting Americans’ e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.

CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans’ e-mail, is scheduled [3] for next week.

Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.

It’s an abrupt departure from Leahy’s earlier approach, which required police to obtain a search warrant backed by probable cause before they could read the contents of e-mail or other communications. The Vermont Democrat boasted [4]last year that his bill “provides enhanced privacy protections for American consumers by… requiring that the government obtain a search warrant.”

Full article here [1]

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URLs in this post:

[1] CNet: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57552225-38/senate-bill-rewrite-lets-feds-read-your-e-mail-without-warrants/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=title

[2] touted: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20071670-281/senator-renews-pledge-to-update-digital-privacy-law/

[3] scheduled: http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=a4bac863917e3bf68f986f7431839d3c

[4] boasted: http://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/leahy-marks-25th-anniversary-of-ecpa-announces-plan-to-mark-up-reform-bill

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

[6] 13,753 Gov’t Requests for Google E-Mail Data in 2012, Most Without a Warrant: http://www.prisonplanet.com/13753-gov%e2%80%99t-requests-for-google-e-mail-data-in-2012-most-without-a-warrant.html

[7] Senate will vote next month on Protect IP copyright bill: http://www.prisonplanet.com/senate-will-vote-next-month-on-protect-ip-copyright-bill.html

[8] Obama administration won’t reveal how many Americans’ emails the NSA has reviewed without warrants: http://www.prisonplanet.com/obama-administration-wont-reveal-how-many-americans%e2%80%99-emails-the-nsa-has-reviewed-without-warrants.html

[9] Connecticut House, Senate reach deal on GMO bill: http://www.prisonplanet.com/connecticut-house-senate-reach-deal-on-gmo-bill.html

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