4TH AMENDMENT IS UNDER ATTACK: SENATE BILL LETS FEDS READ YOUR EMAIL WITHOUT WARRANTS SCHEDULED FOR A VOTE NEXT WEEK
Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. It was adopted as a response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which is a type of general search warrant, in the American Revolution. Search and seizure (including arrest) should be limited in scope according to specific information supplied to the issuing court, usually by a law enforcement officer, who has sworn by it. The Fourth Amendment applies to the states by way of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants
Proposed law scheduled for a vote next week originally increased Americans’ e-mail privacy. Then law enforcement complained. Now it increases government access to e-mail and other digital files.
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.
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.
Mainstream media now openly admits the FBI and CIA are reading all your emails
(NaturalNews) For years, those of us who have tried to warn the American public that Big Brother monitors all Internet users were demonized, vilified and ridiculed.
Now, the mainstream media has proven us correct.
“The U.S. government — and likely your own government, for that matter — is either watching your online activity every minute of the day through automated methods and non-human eavesdropping techniques, or has the ability to dip in as and when it deems necessary — sometimes with a warrant, sometimes without,” ZDNet reported earlier this month. “That tin-foil hat really isn’t going to help. Take it off, you look silly.”
The Petraeus case
Where’s the proof that the government has this capability?
You might recall a fellow by the name of (retired) Gen. David Petraeus. He’s been in the news lately.
This four-star general-turned-CIA chief just resigned his post after news broke that he had engaged in an extra-marital affair with is biographer, herself a West Point graduate and former Army officer.
What led to this shocking discovery was Petraeus’ use, of all things, Google’s online email service, Gmail.
According to federal law, mind you, authorities are not legally permitted to electronically snoop around in your email box.
“The government can’t just wander through your emails just because they’d like to know what you’re thinking or doing,” Stewart Baker, a former assistant secretary at the Homeland Security Department who’s now in private law practice, told The Associated Press. “But if the government is investigating a crime, it has a lot of authority to review people’s emails.”