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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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No
By mchentz on 11/20/2012 11:04:51 AM , Rating: 5
I intend to tell my congressman to vote no once this bill has been given a HB # and proposed to the house. This is flat wrong. I have no idea why anyone would think differently.

Get a warrant if there is enough evidence for one not just because you think this person has something to hide!




RE: No
By cubby1223 on 11/20/2012 11:18:07 AM , Rating: 4
And I fully intend to expect my congressman to ignore my concerns...

It's the problem in this country, we tend to elect politicians based not so much on their own stances, rather on how much we personally hate "the other side".

As long as the parties continue to allow the incumbent to run unopposed in the primaries, we will continue to have no choice.


RE: No
By ArcsinZ on 11/20/2012 1:11:19 PM , Rating: 2
Actually congressman are usually very responsive when people write in to inform them how to vote. Sometimes one person may not sway their opinion, but when many people make a point to tell their representative how they feel it is usually effective.

They want to get re-elected. They do that by being good representatives. It's not the same as a national election where you can write off half of the voters. Most local representation understands that the majority of their constituents will vote based on qualifications and less on party.


RE: No
By FITCamaro on 11/20/2012 4:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
Congressman yes. Senators no.


RE: No
By Rukkian on 11/20/2012 4:56:42 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Actually congressman are usually very responsive when people send money in to inform them how to vote.

Sometimes one dollar may not sway their opinion, but when many dollars make a point to tell their representative how they feel it is usually effective.


There fixed it for ya!


RE: No
By NellyFromMA on 11/20/2012 1:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
The problem isn't as you describe (at least, not entirely). Rather, the problem is constituents tend to think the wa y you describe and choose to accept having 'no voice' and not voice concerns.

If people stopped that and actually made attempts to express dismay at these various things in semi-unison, they would be compelled to re-consider.

The problem is, people by far and large just dont care enoguh to do anything more than sigh and gasp


RE: No
By heffeque on 11/20/2012 5:41:23 PM , Rating: 3
That's the problem with USA's two party system. You can't really choose because it's poo party versus sh¡t party.


RE: No
By ClownPuncher on 11/20/2012 11:44:03 AM , Rating: 5
You've been reported. The state really needs to crack down on freedom loving hippies like you.


RE: No
By GotThumbs on 11/20/2012 2:21:19 PM , Rating: 5
I find it interesting/telling that it's being sponsored by a Democrat. Bigger government anyone?

Just like a parent, when your under their roof, your under their thumb. Only and idiot would expect zero consequences to being reliant on government for your every need.

Based on the recent election results....there are quite a lot of idiots around today. :-)

Best wishes for all during the next four years.


RE: No
By twhittet on 11/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: No
By ClownPuncher on 11/20/2012 4:05:44 PM , Rating: 2
He was typing with his thumbs.


RE: No
By superstition on 11/20/2012 6:13:15 PM , Rating: 2
We all know that Republicans like Mitt Romney and George W. Bush have taken strong stands against privacy invasion by the government.

NOT


RE: No
By superstition on 11/20/2012 6:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
And, lest you mistake me for a foolish partisan, the two parties work for the same people: the very wealthy. The same multinational businessmen who have little concern over the long-term welfare of this nation because their investments and interests are globalized.

There is little substantive difference between the GOP and the Democratic party today. Small differences (such as social wedge issues) are amplified by the media, other surrogates, and politicians themselves in order to distract the public from the biggest threat to our way of life: bipartisanship.

There is a lot more of that than there is gridlock, it's just that we've been flimflammed into thinking more cooperation between the corporatist party with two sides to its coin is going to bring us good outcomes.

But, please continue to watch the theatrical production and imagine that we have two parties who truly oppose each other, and that there is really a "left" anywhere near Washington.


RE: No
By MadMan007 on 11/20/2012 7:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
The greatest trick the American politician ever played was convincing the electorate to vote directly against its own immediate best interest.


RE: No
By superstition on 11/22/2012 1:10:06 AM , Rating: 2
More than that... making them so stupefied that they have no idea what their interests are.


RE: No
By Chaser on 11/22/2012 9:42:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is little substantive difference between the GOP and the Democratic party today.
What country do you live in? I love these third party talking hacks. This past election couldn't have been more polarized.

Obama wants to raise taxes. Romney wanted to make bush tax cuts permanent, while simplifying the tax code and eliminating loopholes.

Obama obviously supports single payer health care. You know, government manages all healthcare? Romney explicitly opposes single payer and Obamacare.

Immigration: They couldn't be more far apart. Romney wants to make English the official language of the country.

On Iraq and Iran, profoundly different.

Cap and trade: Obama supports. Romney opposes.

Gay "marriage": Obama supports, Romney opposes.

You might want to ask for a refund on your theater tickets.


RE: No
By stilltrying on 11/23/2012 12:46:05 AM , Rating: 2
That is what they campaigned on doesnt mean they intended to fulfill it. Keep believing in the theater production.

You had Kerry and Bush running for president from the same campus and the same fraternity (skull and bones), please tell me the odds of that one. ITS THEATER pure and simple. The Best actors are not in Hollywood.


RE: No
By superstition on 11/24/2012 8:05:11 PM , Rating: 2
You really have no idea what you're talking about.

I'll just disprove one of your absurd assertions, because it's really not worth the effort to do more:

quote:
Obama obviously supports single payer health care.


Obama made a secret deal with the industry players right after taking office. That deal killed not only single-payer (it wasn't even to be negotiated in public in a "let's pretend we're for it at all" manner) — it killed the public option.

The charade of the Dems, including Obama, being for the public option was exposed clearly. See Glenn Greenwald's article The Democrats' Scam Becomes More Transparent. The Democrats whipped against the public option. They refused to use reconciliation. The press exposed the secret Obama deal, even though he lied all along — telling the public he wanted the public option. Pelosi lied about it. The White House called Howard Dean a lunatic for saying the bill needed to be refused until it had a public option, and got fake progressives like Markos to do the same.

The Republicans' falsity was also exposed with the way they allowed the bill to be voted on in the morning before Christmas Eve when they thought the public wouldn't notice. Everything they did was done simply to make it easier for the industry, who also gives them bribe money, to get rid of the public option. They worked for the Democrats' deal by giving them a political excuse to kill it.

quote:
This past election couldn't have been more polarized.


Change the word polarized to theatrical and you'll have something. But, yes, the stupid public plays along because they're so propagandized and naive.


RE: No
By stilltrying on 11/20/2012 9:58:46 PM , Rating: 3
You think they actually care what you think or a group of you. Get real these people are pushing the agenda for power. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. I dont know of any politician who isnt looking to increase their power either directly or indirectly.

Politicians personality are most closely reflected with sociopaths. Think about it.

They dont care what you think or what you vote because their is 15 other politicians behind them who will bend to the overlords over the people. The people no longer have any power. Power mongers are coming out of the closet.


RE: No
By superstition on 11/22/2012 1:22:01 AM , Rating: 2
This has always been the case. The government poisoned alcohol by adding methanol to it. It injected people in hospitals with polonium. It fed school kids radioactive oatmeal. It gave people syphilis and then studied their deterioration for decades, while lying to them about their symptoms. It warehoused poor kids (Fernald/Eugenics), with the pretense that they were retarded, and sterilized them. It made buildings for the American natives it displaced with radioactive bricks and hired them to dig uranium ore without any protection. It wrecked destruction by throwing American citizens into concentration camps and nuking the people of the Marshall islands. It conducted secret chemical weapons testing on live human subjects. It dragged people into a ridiculous war with Vietnam and destroyed acres and acres of jungle with toxic chemicals so its pals at Monsanto could make a few bucks.

And, guess what else private corporations did? They did things like shooting striking workers. Back when we had a press that wasn't completely the lapdogs of industry, though, that was enough of a scandal to break up Standard Oil.

quote:
About 11,000 miners in southern Colorado went on strike against the powerful Colorado Fuel & Iron Corporation (CF&I) to protest low pay, dangerous working conditions, and the company's autocratic dominance over the workers' lives. The CF&I, which was owned by the Rockefeller family and Standard Oil, responded to the strike by immediately evicting the miners and their families from company-owned shacks.

When the evictions failed to end the strike, the Rockefeller interests hired private detectives that attacked the tent colonies with rifles and Gatling guns.

When the tenacity of the strikers became apparent, the Rockefellers approached the governor of Colorado, who authorized the use of the National Guard. The Rockefellers agreed to pay their wages.

At first, the strikers believed that the government had sent the National Guard to protect them. The militiamen instead attacked a tent colony of strikers to break the strike, killing dozens of men, women, and children.


RE: No
By inperfectdarkness on 11/21/2012 2:33:02 AM , Rating: 2
The fact that legislation such as this is even under consideration speaks to how detached our elected officials are from reality, the constitution, and the wants/needs of the constituents that elected them.

I am very, very close to the point of reverting all personal business I conduct to face-face transactions only. Even "snail-mail" would probably be an improvement as warrants are still required to search the USPS (under most circumstances). Phone calls are easily tapped without warrant. Texts are virtually the same. Emails, skype, etc...all subject warrantless search now-a-days.

I hate having to live in the stone-age, but if I have to speak in-person to have any kind of hope for privacy (which isn't a guarantee with all the cameras and crap everywhere these days); and if I have to carry paper-money so that I have a prayer of not leaving a trace behind me...then I will do it.

It's shocking and disgusting that the kinds of information that can be gathered on individuals today would be blatantly inadmissable in a court of 20-30 years ago. And yet, we keep marching directly towards our "Minority Report" future.

While I myself am prepared to support and defend the constitution against domestic enemies...I am left to ponder why the Judicial system has failed such an epic and dramatic fashion in this regard.


Hard? No, lazy!
By danjw1 on 11/20/2012 11:41:55 AM , Rating: 2
Lazy, is the problem. "Probable Cause" isn't hard, it is the basic protection offered by the Constitution for the citizens of United States, to avoid intrusive government invasion of their privacy. But, of course law enforcement thinks having to convince a Judge that they have a good reason to look at someones personal documents, is just too much trouble for them. It isn't the internet that is removing privacy, it is stupid legislation that undermines basic constitutional rights.




RE: Hard? No, lazy!
By Ammohunt on 11/20/2012 1:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
it is stupid people that undermines basic constitutional rights.


Fixed that for ya! yw


Lazy
By DigitalFreak on 11/20/2012 11:27:29 AM , Rating: 2
Just another example of how lazy law enforcement officials have gotten. Is it really that difficult to get a search warrent?




Senator Leahy's office denies this.
By danjw1 on 11/20/2012 4:52:43 PM , Rating: 2
It appears this may be much hurrah about nothing. The Senator's Office and others are denying that this is actually happening. It seems odd that he would back something like this, since he has long been a privacy advocate.




It's unconstitutional
By Seated on 11/21/2012 12:05:39 PM , Rating: 2
United States Constitution, Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure

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.




Irony
By kitfox on 11/21/2012 12:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't the Democrats condemn the Republicans for the Patriot Act a few years ago and compared them to the Nazi SS? I think it's pretty ironic that once the power shifted, they not only kept it, but expanded it.




By In2Boost on 11/21/2012 1:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
"A matter of internal security. The age old cry of the oppressor." --- Captain Picard. =)

Thank you to Bush, Romney, and Obama for echoing Picard's first sentence when the abolition of constitutional rights is questioned.




ok
By p05esto on 11/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: ok
By Breathless on 11/20/2012 11:47:16 AM , Rating: 5
then you deserve neither


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
quote:
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:

http://www.yourdonreport.com/index.php/2007/01/04/...

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....


RE: ok
By weskurtz0081 on 11/20/2012 11:54:12 AM , Rating: 2
If they are only reading emails of those they suspect are "doing bad things", what's wrong with getting a warrant? Checks and balances?


RE: ok
By marvdmartian on 11/20/2012 12:26:04 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Great words, from Benjamin Franklin.

Learn the Constitution, my friend. Innocent until PROVEN guilty, and the right to privacy, are two freedoms I'm unwilling to give up.


RE: ok
By fic2 on 11/20/2012 12:39:01 PM , Rating: 3
Obviously? Seriously?
Or, it could be the cop down the street that you pissed off somehow. Or the cop that is a friend of your ex that you broke up with. Or the cop that is the friend of a politician that wants to get dirt on the guy he is running against.

Yeah, cops never go after anyone that isn't a criminal...


RE: ok
By toffty on 11/20/2012 12:59:25 PM , Rating: 1
Those who give up a little freedom for a little security deserve neither and lose both.

-Benjamin Franklin


RE: ok
By Iaiken on 11/20/12, Rating: 0
RE: ok
By Adonlude on 11/20/12, Rating: 0
RE: ok
By TakinYourPoints on 11/28/2012 6:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
You are a complete idiot, but please, feel free to pack your bags and go to the fascist regime of your choice.


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