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Old Nov 20, 2012, 11:43 AM   #1
MacNut
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What email privacy. Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants.

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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.

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 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 investigations.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57...news&tag=title

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" situations exist.
✭ 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.

Last edited by MacNut; Nov 20, 2012 at 11:52 AM.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:11 PM   #2
ugahairydawgs
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Another bill that doesn't address our root problems while at the same time expanding the power of government.

Awesome.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ugahairydawgs View Post
Another bill that doesn't address our root problems while at the same time expanding the power of government.

Awesome.
Yep.
These are the kinda things that make Ron Paul's neck veins bulge.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:26 PM   #4
VulchR
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Can't be constitutional....
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:27 PM   #5
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I highly doubt this goes anywhere. If it were passed in to law, parts of it would probably be struck down as a violation of the 4th amendment.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:45 PM   #6
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I highly doubt this goes anywhere. If it were passed in to law, parts of it would probably be struck down as a violation of the 4th amendment.
The sick thing is they think this is a good thing for the country. How out of touch are these people. No wonder the country has such a low opinion on these *******s.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:15 PM   #7
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That was fast.

(That's what she said! )

Seriously.. it appears now that Leahy has already abandoned his email surveillance bill.

In short, this wasn't going anywhere, and even if someone tried, with that much opposition, it would be political suicide to try to push it.

BL.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bradl View Post
(That's what she said! )

Seriously.. it appears now that Leahy has already abandoned his email surveillance bill.

In short, this wasn't going anywhere, and even if someone tried, with that much opposition, it would be political suicide to try to push it.

BL.
Good to see him back peddle. I still don't understand how he thought the bill was a good idea to begin with.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:50 PM   #9
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There was really no way that this would get approved.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:35 PM   #10
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Surely the Senate has better things to do with their time?

All they need do is put a little finger in a dyke, and they want to construct another Hoover Dam.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 02:49 AM   #11
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Finally, the government can get to the bottom of the "I can haz cheeseburger" terrorist group.

Release the evil bunnies!
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 04:09 AM   #12
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First there is quite a few instances when there is no requirement for a warrant for an email.

This relates to the example of a post card/airogram with the information is visible on the outside. This doesn't need a warrant for a federal officer to read, because it fits within the "plain view" rules under search and seizure law

Email when in plain txt is considered to be like a post card and therefore in plain view. No warrant or even probable cause is require to read it (while in transmission)

If the email in encrypted, then it is classed as a opaque package like your pocket or boot of your car. It is not in "plain view and probable cause at least is needed.


Well at least this is how the federal court has ruled in a number of cases.

However this is accademic if you are talking about n.s,a or hom,eland security as although they might not be allowed to spy on USA citizens, the uk and Australians are allowed to, and do so for the US government on request and vice versa under shared under digital security laws.

The reality is though (unless encrypted) anything you send on the web is visible to innumerable people along the way from your computer to what ever sever your email/web page is routed through.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 06:34 AM   #13
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It appalls me that this was even considered. I think that a requirement for sitting in Congress should be that the given person should be able to cite the US Constitution verbatim flawlessly from memory.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 10:00 AM   #14
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It's nice to see him evolving. That's what you call it when your guy changes his mind now and not flip-flopping, right?
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VulchR View Post
It appalls me that this was even considered. I think that a requirement for sitting in Congress should be that the given person should be able to cite the US Constitution verbatim flawlessly from memory.
You know, in school we had to do memorizing all the time. Our teacher would give a few poems and let us choose which ones to recite so I kind of like that idea. Make all incoming representatives recite the bill of rights when they take the oath.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradl View Post
(That's what she said! )

Seriously.. it appears now that Leahy has already abandoned his email surveillance bill.

In short, this wasn't going anywhere, and even if someone tried, with that much opposition, it would be political suicide to try to push it.

BL.
Sounds like a job for the majority party in the spirit of compromise!

There are regulations always being passed by one party for political purposes, meaning both parties agree that its ok to use it as a election issue, but both sides get the regulation they want.

The Patriot act is a prime example. One side runs against one election, gets in, strengthens it, then the cycle starts again.

----------

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It's nice to see him evolving. That's what you call it when your guy changes his mind now and not flip-flopping, right?
It's called not having a spine, or the testicular fortitude to just outright say that you support a surveillance state. It's a condition that effects 90%+ of our leaders suffer from. Poor blokes.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 02:41 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by wackymacky View Post
The reality is though (unless encrypted) anything you send on the web is visible to innumerable people along the way from your computer to what ever server your email/web page is routed through.
Indeed, what we need are not stronger privacy laws but better education about what constitutes privacy on the 'net. "zOMG, the FBI looked at my blog, the bastards! It's and invasion of my privacy, I tells ya!" I mean, "snooping" Facebook and Twitter? That stuff was always meant to be public, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to be learned some stuff good.

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Surely the Senate has better things to do with their time?

All they need do is put a little finger in a dyke, and they want to construct another Hoover Dam.
The Senate finally got themselves one of those this time around.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 02:51 PM   #18
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The Senate finally got themselves one of those this time around.
I was afraid of that .... it just didn't look 'right'.

Just too lazy to do anything about it.

And good luck to any of them trying to put a finger in it.
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