who really thinks he's a protector of personal privacy and such.
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.