Senate votes to allow FBI to access your browsing history without a warrant

Senate votes to allow FBI to access your browsing history without a warrant

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The US Senate yesterday voted – by a single vote – to allow government agencies like the FBI and CIA to access your browsing history without a warrant.

This means they would not need to show probable cause for believing you have committed a crime before requiring your ISP to hand over its records on your web browsing and search histories … The Senate is being asked to reauthorize the Patriot Act, which gives government agencies powers to carry out mass electronic surveillance of US citizens. Three amendments were put forward, one of which would have prevented accessing web browsing history without a warrant.

Engadget reports that the privacy amendment came up one vote short, and therefore failed.

The ACLU urged Congress members to add three specific amendments that would limit it if they reauthorize its powers.

One, from Senators Steve Daines and Ron Wyden would have prohibited the warrantless collection of search or browser histories. Senators voted on that Wednesday afternoon, but it failed to pass, coming one yes vote short of the required 60, with several senators including Ben Sasse and Bernie Sanders not voting.

A Politico reporter noted that, according to an aide, Washington senator Patty Murray would have voted yes, but was still flying back to D.C. when the votes were cast.

Use of a VPN provides protection against this kind of surveillance, as it means your ISP would have no way to know which websites you visited.

There was some good news: a second amendment did pass, which allows judges ruling on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests to seek input from independent experts.

The amendment senators did passby a 77-19 margin, was introduced by Patrick Leahy (D, Vermont) and Mike Lee (R, Utah). As described by the ACLU, it “strengthens the role of independent “friends of the court” to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, ensuring that the court has additional opportunities to hear the views of outside experts.”

In an op-ed published Sunday seeking support for the measures, the senators said “The key to our proposal is to substantially strengthen a program that currently allows FISA judges, in very limited circumstances, to appoint outside legal scholars — called “amici”— to independently analyze FBI surveillance requests that are particularly sensitive…We propose measures that would authorize and actively encourage judges in this secret court to seek independent amicus reviews in all sensitive cases — such as those involving significant First Amendment issues — thereby adding a layer of protection for those who will likely never know they have been targeted for secret surveillance.”

A third amendment, requiring warrants to carry out FISA searches on US citizens, is due to be voted on today.

Facebook Comments


  • Reply May 15, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    tell me MORE Jon Sellers Robert Cox Jim Price

  • Ray E Horton
    Reply May 15, 2020

    Ray E Horton

    I doubt that it will get past the House without significant improvement of privacy protections.

  • Reply May 15, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Thanks to Bernie Henry Volk Bro Ray right now nothing is to doubt nothing is impossible everything could be

  • Lynelle Thomas
    Reply May 16, 2020

    Lynelle Thomas

    so ive got nothing to hide

    • Reply May 17, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      some also got noting to show

  • Isara Mo
    Reply May 16, 2020

    Isara Mo

    Is snooping a sin? lol
    Can a snooper go to heaven..?

  • Jevan Little
    Reply May 17, 2020

    Jevan Little

    Democrats and Republicans. Those dirty rats

  • Reply May 17, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    happens under Trump Neil Steven Lawrence

  • Phil Scott
    Reply May 17, 2020

    Phil Scott

    These people do not hold a candle next to the founding fathers of are great nation.

  • Reply May 17, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    hey Phil Scott most founding fathers were plain masons

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