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Senator Patrick Leahy (D, Vt.), seen here in a cameo in The Dark Knight, was "pressured" by National District Attorneys' Association and the National Sheriffs' Association to change the language of the privacy bill  (Source: Warner Bros.)
Bill originally added protection for e-mail

Talk about a bait and switch. CNET is reporting that Senator Patrick Leahy (D, Vt.), who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has revised legislation he proposed previously that originally claimed to protect e-mail privacy of American citizens. That proposal has been rewritten, and now allows for law enforcement officials to read your e-mails without a warrant.

The bill is scheduled for a vote next week and was reworked after the National District Attorneys' Association and the National Sheriffs' Association made it clear that they were concerned about increasing difficulty gaining access to e-mails for criminal investigations. The rewritten bill would give access to e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter messages to 22 different government agencies without the need for a search warrant.
The rewritten bill would also allow the FBI and Homeland Security additional authority in certain circumstances to access accounts on the internet without notifying the owner or needing approval by a judge.

The original legislation proposed would've required police to obtain a search warrant and have probable cause before they were allowed to read the contents of e-mail or other digital communications.
Senator Leahy previously said of his legislation, "[The bill] provides enhanced privacy protections for American consumers by... requiring that the government obtain a search warrant."

Source: CNET

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RE: ok
By ClownPuncher on 11/20/2012 11:52:20 AM , Rating: 5
Then move to a country where privacy isn't a core right. No sense mucking up this one with your idiocy.

RE: ok
By FITCamaro on 11/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: ok
By nikclev on 11/20/2012 1:28:30 PM , Rating: 2
There is a fundamental right to privacy in the United States. While it is not as explicit as, for example, the right to free speech, it has been decided by precedent that the right to privacy exists. It's been the basis of or a part of the decision in many cases such as Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade.

While these cases both mainly deal with contraception and abortion respectively, the basis for these decisions was based in part the fundamental right to privacy. Because we live in a common law legal system, the basis for the decisions is important and defines the right to privacy.

RE: ok
By FITCamaro on 11/20/2012 4:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
If precedent was followed and always legitimate, slavery would still be legal.

The Supreme Court saying the Constitution has abortion being a "right" in its "shadows" doesn't make it correct.

RE: ok
By ClownPuncher on 11/20/2012 6:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
The abolition of slavery was done legally through constitutional amendment.

RE: ok
By FITCamaro on 11/21/2012 8:17:25 AM , Rating: 2
Yes but your statement was that essentially Supreme Court precedent is always correct and Constitutional.

I disagree. We have Supreme Court justices now, and in the past, who freely admit they look to non-Constitutional sources (such as European law and their own opinion) when crafting their decisions. That is blatantly unconstitutional. Unfortunately our lawmakers have completely abdicated their responsibility to impeach such justices.

RE: ok
By ClownPuncher on 11/21/2012 10:12:10 AM , Rating: 2
That wasn't my statement. I agree there are justices that should be impeached.

RE: ok
By JediJeb on 11/20/2012 8:15:39 PM , Rating: 1
If precedent was followed and always legitimate, slavery would still be legal.

Slavery was legal by precedent until the Constitution was amended which overrode the precedent. If the police want to do away with the need for warrants then they need to amend the Constitution to do away with it, otherwise the police need to follow the Constitution and spend the time bringing probable cause before a judge to get a proper warrant.

That is the whole problem now, certain groups want the laws to bend to their will but are trying any way they can to get it done around the Constitution because they know they can't yet convince the people it would be good for them if the Constitution changed.

RE: ok
By ClownPuncher on 11/20/2012 1:38:58 PM , Rating: 3
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

It's not open to interpretation. Just because Thomas Paine didn't have a Gmail account doesn't mean we can make things up as we go.

RE: ok
By vanionBB on 11/20/2012 1:44:22 PM , Rating: 2
This should be treated the same as first class mail! Big brother cannot search my first class mail without a warrant... oh wait... they can:

If you are truly concerned about privacy, encrypt your emails. Anything you place online is public, if you don't want everyone to see what you are doing close the front door.

RE: ok
By MadMan007 on 11/20/2012 7:16:30 PM , Rating: 2
The USPS is a governmental organization. It's no curprise they can do it there. Can they search UPS packages without warrant? If not, that's no different than a non-governmental email.

RE: ok
By FITCamaro on 11/21/2012 8:18:42 AM , Rating: 2
Yes because encryption is completely secure....

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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