Proposal to Let Feds Snoop on Emails Dropped
Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont has killed a controversial portion of a bill he proposed that would have allowed more than 20 government agencies to access Americans’ emails without a warrant, CNET reports.
Leahy originally proposed the bill to increase email and Internet privacy. But he received pushback from law enforcement interests, so he amended it to allow warrantless access to email by a bevy of government agencies, from the Securities and Exchange Commission to the Mine Enforcement Safety and Health Review Commission. That revised version sparked outrage among civil liberties proponents and a coalition of technology companies. On Tuesday Leahy abandoned the offending amendments altogether.
Leahy’s office said Tuesday on Twitter the proposed changes were only “ideas,” and would not withstand the mark-up phase of the bill process in the Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.