Congress Passes Bill That Allows Law Enforcement to View Emails Without Warrant
Bubba Atkinson | On 28, Dec 2012
Big Brother? Is that you?
A new bill passed by Congress will allow Netflix to share your video rental history on Facebook (just like Spotify does now when linked to your FB account), but an email privacy add-on was removed last minute.
Legislation sent to President Obama this week quietly removed language in a bill that would have — for the first time — forced law enforcement to obtain a warrant to read Americans’ email. Currently, private email that has been stored by a third party for more than 180 days can be accessed by the government without a warrant.
The Senate Judiciary Committee had added a provision to legislation demanding that law enforcement or government agencies show probable cause for email searches. The provision was added to a bill aimed to allow users the ability to post on their Facebook feeds what they are watching on video services [such as Netflix]. The bill, the Video Privacy Protection Act, changed laws passed in 1988 that made it illegal disclose someone’s video rental history following the leak of failed-Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s video history to the Washington City Paper.
So now you can let your friends on Facebook know that you just watched 20 consecutive episodes of Parks and Recreation, but your emails stored by a Google or Yahoo for more than 180 days still do not require a warrant to be seen.
Isn’t there a fiscal ledge or cliff or something like that we’re about to go flying off of?
Hip. Hip. Hooray. Washington strikes again with all the common sense of the drywall nearest you.