Things may have come full-circle for a bill aimed at replacing a 1986 law governing warrants for electronic communications. S.1011 was drafted to update and protect American's online privacy for the 21st century, requiring federal agencies to obtain a search warrant, backed by probable cause, to investigate digital communications like email. Then it was rewritten to do the exact opposite.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, introduced the bill and its revisions. But a CNET report claimed the latter allowed 22 federal agencies access to communications sans warrant, igniting Internet outcry.
A defensive Leahy responded, saying he never supported any "broad carve-out for warrantless searches of email" according to FoxNews. Forbes reports the version of the bill to be reviewed next Thursday likely won't contain the provisions cited in CNET.
One danger of federal email-scouring is how extensive it can go: the FBI tripped across former CIA Director David Petraeus's affair while investigating a separate incident, for which no warrant was issued.Via Fox News and CNET