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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants

    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" 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Markham Erickson, a lawyer in Washington, D.C. who has followed the topic closely and said he was speaking for himself and not his corporate clients, expressed concerns about the alphabet soup of federal agencies that would be granted more power:


    ❝ There is no good legal reason why federal regulatory agencies such as the NLRB, OSHA, SEC or FTC need to access customer information service providers with a mere subpoena. If those agencies feel they do not have the tools to do their jobs adequately, they should work with the appropriate authorizing committees to explore solutions. The Senate Judiciary committee is really not in a position to adequately make those determinations. ❞

    The list of agencies that would receive civil subpoena authority for the contents of electronic communications also includes the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Maritime Commission, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Mine Enforcement Safety and Health Review Commission.

    Leahy's modified bill retains some pro-privacy components, such as requiring police to secure a warrant in many cases. But the dramatic shift, especially the regulatory agency loophole and exemption for emergency account access, likely means it will be near-impossible for tech companies to support in its new form.

    A bitter setback
    This is a bitter setback for Internet companies and a liberal-conservative-libertarian coalition, which had hoped to convince Congress to update the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act to protect documents stored in the cloud. Leahy glued those changes onto an unrelated privacy-related bill supported by Netflix.

    At the moment, Internet users enjoy more privacy rights if they store data on their hard drives or under their mattresses, a legal hiccup that the companies fear could slow the shift to cloud-based services unless the law is changed to be more privacy-protective.

    Members of the so-called Digital Due Process coalition include Apple, Amazon.com, Americans for Tax Reform, AT&T, the Center for Democracy and Technology, eBay, Google, Facebook, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, TechFreedom, and Twitter. (CNET was the first to report on the coalition's creation.)

    Leahy, a former prosecutor, has a mixed record on privacy. He criticized the FBI's efforts to require Internet providers to build in backdoors for law enforcement access, and introduced a bill in the 1990s protecting Americans' right to use whatever encryption products they wanted.

    But he also authored the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which is now looming over Web companies, as well as the reviled Protect IP Act. An article in The New Republic concluded Leahy's work on the Patriot Act "appears to have made the bill less protective of civil liberties." Leahy had introduced significant portions of the Patriot Act under the name Enhancement of Privacy and Public Safety in Cyberspace Act (PDF) a year earlier.

    One obvious option for the Digital Due Process coalition is the simplest: if Leahy's committee proves to be an insurmountable roadblock in the Senate, try the courts instead.

    Judges already have been wrestling with how to apply the Fourth Amendment to an always-on, always-connected society. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police needed a search warrant for GPS tracking of vehicles. Some courts have ruled that warrantless tracking of Americans' cell phones, another coalition concern, is unconstitutional.

    The FBI and other law enforcement agencies already must obtain warrants for e-mail in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, thanks to a ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2010.


    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57...news&tag=title
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Land of the free!
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk rocknblues81's Avatar
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    It's pretty simple... Americans will have to become more "forceful" if these people are going to get it.

  4. #4
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    perhaps this will be the shot in the arm that the Post office needs LOL

    given that so many documents, including bank statements, legal correspondence, etc are going to email instead of snail mail, it gives government ever more access to your correspondence

    maybe pen and paper are not obsolete after all

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocknblues81 View Post
    It's pretty simple... Americans will have to become more "forceful" if these people are going to get it.
    But we WON'T.

    I for one am tired of ceding my privacy and freedom to "law enforcement".

    I have always hated the saying, "if you're not doing anything illegal, you have nothing to worry about". Really?

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    I have a client that has TWO of these in his office. Not cheap toys, the scope alone is over $3,000.

    He's a CEO of a very profitable company, if the shit ever hits the fan, I know who I am hiding behind! Not quite as deadly as his grenade launcher, but still wouldn't want to be on this guys bad side!



    Edit: BTW, went to a range with him once in which they allow him to shoot this MFer, you should hear the "holy shit, what was that?" from everyone there.
    Last edited by Dave's Dreidel; 11.20.12 at 09:59 AM.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk rocknblues81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaboChris View Post
    But we WON'T.

    I for one am tired of ceding my privacy and freedom to "law enforcement".

    I have always hated the saying, "if you're not doing anything illegal, you have nothing to worry about". Really?
    Shit will hit the fan sooner or later. Perhaps people have become too "civilized" (or lazy if that's the way you choose to look at it) for their own good.

  8. #8
    Eruption
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    If they are officially asking for permission to read our emails, it would be naive to think they can't and don't already.
    Staying Frosty

  9. #9
    Eruption
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    I just assume anything I do on a computer will be public knowledge. I certainly don't own any data networks.
    Staying Frosty

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    The FBI and NSA already monitors all of this stuff, hate to break it to anyone that doesn't already know it. Your email, mail, internet browsing habits, phone calls, all of it.

    It used to be done under the table, as it couldn't be used for prosecution, just used as an aid in pointing them in the right direction to find actual evidence. I guess they found that too constricting.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

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    DONATE TO THE LINKS YA CHEAP BASTARDS!!!!

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    I think most people are smart enough to know that there is no "privacy" on the net. Having said that, it should be "constricting". The government and law enforcement have never in history abused these kinds of things huh?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    The FBI and NSA already monitors all of this stuff, hate to break it to anyone that doesn't already know it. Your email, mail, internet browsing habits, phone calls, all of it.

    It used to be done under the table, as it couldn't be used for prosecution, just used as an aid in pointing them in the right direction to find actual evidence. I guess they found that too constricting.
    I sent a politically-themed rant in an email to some friends right after the election. That email inexplicably took 24 hours to deliver, despite other emails that were written after that and were delivered immediately.

    After working in a gov't office on a gov't network, I know for a fact that email can easily be auto-scanned for content and flagged and put on hold until "somebody" gets to it and decides its not harmful to send.
    Staying Frosty

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    This is a nice piece of legislation to go with the already approved National Defense Act.
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  14. #14
    Sinner's Swing! Jesus H Christ's Avatar
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    America is over...

    Take a look at this...Rand Paul makes some fine points.

    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    That was the original point of this law--to prevent what was happening, despite 4th amendment issues.

    Why it got distorted like this to reinforce what they're doing I don't know. Perhaps this was the plan all along.

 

 

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