November 20, 2012

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

Hey, hipsters and Obama fluffers:  to borrow a phrase, it looks like  America’s “progressive” chickensssss…are coming home to rooooooooost!

CNET:

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.

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.

[…]

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.

[…]

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.

Meh. Not your fault, Obama voters.  You fucked up. You trusted him!

Forward!

(h/t JHo)

 

 

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:55am
36 comments | Trackback

Comments (36)

  1. requiring a warrant to obtain stored e-mail could have an “adverse impact” on criminal investigations.

    Of course, a lot of the Bill of Rights could be interpreted as having an adverse impact on criminal investigations. Ditto search warrants in general, probable cause, etc.

    Because nothing protects a country’s citizenry like an unimpeded police state. They dare because they care.

  2. I could also say that it should be hard to pass a law that repeals important parts of the Constitution and negates landmark Supreme Court rulings, but who am I kidding?

  3. No, unfortunately it is their fault. It’s far worse than naivete at play. These people are monsters.

  4. Bbbbbbuuuuttttt, Bush! FISA! Bush did it too!

  5. Jeff is on fire today with the entries. Good thing because it’s a travel day. Damn, this is a biiig country.
    Ok, Rockies in sight, half-turn right. Wave at Jeff. Genuflect? Decisions, decisions.

  6. Travel begins later today for me. Won’t be back until early next week. Hope some folks can fill in!

  7. It’s travel day today for Hillary Clinton too, miraculously parachuting in just in time to claim credit for saving the existence of Israel from the spectre of Hamas. Jolly well done old girl.

  8. Uhh, I’m not sure, but this looks like a good thing that could turn into a bad thing really fast.

  9. “. . . a bad thing really fast.”

    “Our heritage is our land, our blood, our identity.”

    Looks like it’s already bad to me.

  10. Federal Government gets to read your email? Da Winnah.

  11. The entire constitution is at odds with government investigatory power. That’s why they do crap like this in the top of the 9th, during the commercial break. But hey, OCBill, we know the SEC’s intentions are benign. Everyone wants what’s best for us.

    Sadly, John in Firestone, Bush did kick it off. In the way of governmental powers, once there is precedent, well, Yahtzee!!!

  12. Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee

    He’s still alive?

  13. Vorwärts in die Vergangenheit!

    Good ol’ “Leaky” Leahy. You can always count on him.

  14. “Kneel before Zod!”

    …Or whoever. After all, you’re subjects now, it’s not like you get to pick who you kneel to…

  15. Feh. Unlike our president, I bow to no man.

  16. leigh, you’re on a roll today.

  17. Heh. It’s probably because I’m mad at everything today.

    I was driving my kid’s truck last week and got rearended at a red light. The guy, while insured, is pissing around about calling his insurance company. I’ve been running around getting the police report and having my insurance agent fax it to his to try to expedite things.

    $1950 worth of damages and I want them fixed.

  18. I know Bush did it. I’m gleefully mocking the hypocrisy of the left.

    And, as Chris Rock is fond of saying, “I can drive a car with my feet; that don’t make it a good idea!

  19. J in F: To be certain. This just has to blow a whole in their thesis, on some level.

  20. Sorry everyone, you keep acting as though hypocrisy or intellectual inconsistency bothers them.

  21. Nope, charlesaustin. I know they have no shame and hypocrisy doesn’t bother them. I’m going Alinsky on them. Make them live up to their own playbook.

    It’s Breitbart writ large (or as large as my influence is)…

  22. What I remember Bush doing was allowing wiretaps of U.S. citizen’s communications with known or suspected terrorists who were outside the United States. I’m not remembering anything where Bush allowed for the government to read the emails I send to my kids’ teachers at school.

  23. Isn’t this just Echelon/Omnivore (Clinton-era, IIRC), with a congressional seal of approval?

  24. As long as they think they’re somehow superior while not reading the news, barely work (if at all), and blindly trust the government, hope remains a flicker at best.

  25. I do hope that this means no warrant is needed to view Leahy’s and every other Congressman’s personal email as well. ‘Cause it seems that this country is all about “fairness.”

  26. Oh, Libby. You dreamer, you.

  27. I don’t think Congressmen use email.

    At least without aliases.

    Good think we didn’t elect a nasty old republican, or we’d really see our liberty under assault.

  28. J in F: To be certain. This just has to blow a whole in their thesis, on some level.

    BS. Their narrative has no basis in reality, and facts that dispute the narrative are summarily ignored.

  29. - Even more awesomer news in Jug ears Utopia, or shut up Hobbits and eat your governmrnt surplus peas.

  30. - “Federal Workers to Congress: Leave Us Out of Deficit Deal”

    – Because, hey, we only got small raises last year…..and ok, maybe the PO lost 16.8 billion last year alone, but thats not our fault…..and yeh so maybe we kept our jobs, and got raises, while many millions of private industry workers have been out of work for years, but we’ve payed our fair share, and besides, how the hell do you expect us to keep shovling millions and millions of union dues dollars into Democratic campaigns coffers if we have to take any more hits?

    – Common Obama, you promised if we voted for you, now don’t welch on the deal.

  31. I was driving my kid’s truck last week and got rearended at a red light. The guy, while insured, is pissing around about calling his insurance company. I’ve been running around getting the police report and having my insurance agent fax it to his to try to expedite things.

    $1950 worth of damages and I want them fixed.

    leigh, remind your agent of the term “subrogation”. That’s where your insurance goes ahead and pays for your repairs and then they turn around and sue his insurance company. There’s absolutely no reason you should have to wait.

    This is exactly how my last claim ended up being handled. My dad was also in the insurance biz for over 30 years, so I got this sort of thing at the dinner table… 8-)

  32. “Federal Workers to Congress: Leave Us Out of Deficit Deal”

    – Because, hey, we only got small raises last year…..

    My wife trotted out last night that federal employees haven’t had a cost-of-living adjustment in several years. I was forced to remind her taxpayers haven’t been getting those either.

  33. My wife trotted out last night that federal employees haven’t had a cost-of-living adjustment in several years. I was forced to remind her taxpayers haven’t been getting those either.

    Perhaps you could also add that some of us are making significantly less.

  34. My wife trotted out last night that federal employees haven’t had a cost-of-living adjustment in several years. I was forced to remind her taxpayers haven’t been getting those either.

    I don’t know how the Feds do it, but at the city and state levels around here, most compensation systems are set up in steps and lanes, such that even if there is no COLA applied, employees still move up a step each year, which usually means 2.5% to 3.5% increases in pay. In those years where COLA is applied to the compensation schedule as a whole, they get their step increase on top of the COLA adjustment.

    These fuckers get ahead even when they cry to you about standing still. Every claim out of a union official’s mouth is a lie, and it’s not difficult to prove it if you have any experience negotiating with them.

  35. I fully expect to see SEK defending this by mocking teh wingerz what are getting all het up about nothing. As opposed to actually defending it.

    But to verify, I’d have to go look. And I’ve got about 763 better things to do, just now.

  36. My wife’s been in her current grade for over 18 years. If she isn’t step-maxed already, she will be soon.

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