To think that a Republican, John Cornyn, who is supposed to be a Conservative, would want to allow the FBI access to our email and internet browsing habits is disturbing enough. That they are trying to sell it to the public as a law that would limit such when it really expands it is pretty fucked up.
An email privacy bill that passed unanimously in the House has run into trouble in a Senate committee as a result of an amendment that would expand the FBI’s warrantless access to internet users’ browser history.
Sponsors of the bill, Sens. Patrick J. Leahy and Mike Lee, pulled it from the Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s markup agenda Thursday to continue to work out differences with Sen. John Cornyn, the author of the controversial amendment.
The underlying Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments (ECPA) Act is meant to strengthen and modernize protections for internet users by requiring police and other law enforcement agencies to get a warrant if they want a look at Americans’ stored emails.
But the amendment would expand the categories of data the FBI can access via national security letters — administrative subpoenas that require no judicial oversight. The amendment would authorize the FBI to demand a person’s internet browser history and internet protocol address, enabling investigators to see what websites a person visits, how much time is spent on a particular site and the location of the internet user.
Mr. Cornyn, Texas Republican, defended his amendment, noting that FBI Director James B. Comey has said getting those changes made is the bureau’s No. 1 legislative priority. He added that the changes would not allow the FBIwarrantless access to the content of emails, rather just email metadata, including internet protocol addresses associated with messages. Read more…
Oh, that last sentence really put my mind at ease. Time for fire up Tor everyone!