Read it for yourself - aren't these the Democrats we elected to
protect our freedoms?
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: DAVID J. FARBER <mailto:farber%40gmail.com
Date: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Subject: [IP] Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants
To: ip <mailto:ip%40listbox.com
Begin forwarded message:
From: Dewayne Hendricks <mailto:dewayne%40warpspeed.com
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail
Date: November 20, 2012 2:37:38 PM EST
To: Multiple recipients of Dewayne-Net <mailto:dewayne-net%40warpspeed.com
[Note: This item comes from friend Steve Goldstein. DLH]
From: Steve Goldstein <mailto:steve.goldstein%40cox.net
Subject: Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without
warrants | Politics and Law - CNET News
Date: November 20, 2012 10:35:32 AM PST
To: Hendricks Dewayne <mailto:dewayne%40warpspeed.com
Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants
By Declan McCullagh
November 20, 2012
Proposed law scheduled for a vote next week originally increased
Americans' e-mail privacy. Then law enforcement complained. Now it
increases government access to e-mail and other digital files.
A Senate proposal touted 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 for next week.
Revised bill highlights
✭ Grants warrantless access to Americans' electronic correspondence to
over 22 federal agencies. Only a subpoena is required, not a search
warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause.
✭ Permits state and local law enforcement to warrantlessly access
Americans' correspondence stored on systems not offered "to the
public," including university networks.
✭ Authorizes any law enforcement agency to access accounts without a
warrant -- or subsequent court review -- if they claim "emergency"
✭ Says providers "shall notify" law enforcement in advance of any
plans to tell their customers that they've been the target of a
warrant, order, or subpoena.
✭ Delays notification of customers whose accounts have been accessed
from 3 days to "10 business days." This notification can be postponed
by up to 360 days.
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. (CNET obtained the revised
draft from a source involved in the negotiations with Leahy.)
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 last year that his bill "provides enhanced privacy
protections for American consumers by... requiring that the government
obtain a search warrant."
Leahy had planned a vote on an earlier version of his bill, designed
to update a pair of 1980s-vintage surveillance laws, in late
September. But after law enforcement groups including the National
District Attorneys' Association and the National Sheriffs' Association
organizations objected to the legislation and asked him to "reconsider
acting" on it, Leahy pushed back the vote and reworked the bill as a
package of amendments to be offered next Thursday. The package (PDF)
is a substitute for H.R. 2471, which the House of Representatives
already has approved.
One person participating in Capitol Hill meetings on this topic told
CNET that Justice Department officials have expressed their
displeasure about Leahy's original bill. The department is on record
as opposing any such requirement: James Baker, the associate deputy
attorney general, has publicly warned that requiring a warrant to
obtain stored e-mail could have an "adverse impact" on criminal
Christopher Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil
Liberties Union, said requiring warrantless access to Americans' data
"undercuts" the purpose of Leahy's original proposal. "We believe a
warrant is the appropriate standard for any contents," he said.
An aide to the Senate Judiciary committee told CNET that because
discussions with interested parties are ongoing, it would be premature
to comment on the legislation.
Marc Rotenberg, head of the Electronic Privacy Information Center,
said that in light of the revelations about how former CIA director
David Petraeus' e-mail was perused by the FBI, "even the Department of
Justice should concede that there's a need for more judicial
oversight," not less.
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