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Senate Bill Rewrite Lets Feds Read Your E-mail Without Warrants 403

Posted by timothy
from the as-if-they-wouldn't-otherwise dept.
concealment writes "A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans' e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law. [Sen. Patrick] Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge."
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Senate Bill Rewrite Lets Feds Read Your E-mail Without Warrants

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  • Yay! Democrats! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:47AM (#42039981)

    Guardians of our Liberties and Privacy!

    Good thing those nasty old Republicans aren't running the show. They might force the Feds to get a search warrant or something.

    • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:50AM (#42040019)

      You're gonna have to rewrite your national anthem at this rate

      Home of the brave - Nope. You have a whole agency called TSA which I assume stands for The Scared Americans

      And what with this lot you can hardly be called the land of the free

      • by moeinvt (851793) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:01AM (#42041169)

        We already have a new national anthem. It goes like this:

        "AMERICA! .... F*** Yeah! "

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by JustOK (667959)

          2nd verse:
          ?????
          3rd verse
          Profit

          • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by BlueStrat (756137) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @12:41PM (#42042869)

            We already have a new national anthem. It goes like this:

            "AMERICA! .... F*** Yeah! "

            2nd verse:
            ?????
            3rd verse
            Profit

            No, no.

            It goes "Second verse, same as the first

            I'm "enery the eighth I am, 'enery the eighth I am I am..."

            And I'm sue that if King Henry VIII were to see this, he would be proud of Sen Leahy, the Democrats, and the Republicans for their heroic efforts to keep the serfs and other rabble that might oppose the Crown...err...US administration...in line and remind them that they only have the rights the government decides to allow any particular person at any given time.

            But never mind all that boring stuff and men behind curtains pulling levers, did you hear about the latest juicy political sex scandal?? OMG!! And abortion!...gay marriage!...racism!...terrorism!...Evil rich!...pedophiles!...GEORGE BUSH!! Oh my!

            Strat

      • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:08AM (#42041263)

        Well, "the free" part is still true. It just doesn't refer to the people any more. It is the government that is free. Free to do whatever the hell they want with no oversight and nothing anyone can do about it. Because, you know, only child-molesters and terrorists want to be free, and you'd have to be one of those two groups to say anything about what the government does.

        The United States has a cancer and is rotting from within. (Sad enough on its own, worse by the fact that they are not alone.)

      • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:14AM (#42041369)

        You're gonna have to rewrite your national anthem at this rate

        Home of the brave - Nope. You have a whole agency called TSA which I assume stands for The Scared Americans

        And what with this lot you can hardly be called the land of the free

        They're the Terrorists' Surrogate Army.

        Because they won and we're now an occupied country. And we even supplied the occupation troops for them.

    • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Damastus the WizLiz (935648) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:53AM (#42040057)

      Guardians of our Liberties and Privacy!

      Good thing those nasty old Republicans aren't running the show. They might force the Feds to get a search warrant or something.

      Do you really think that one side or the other is going be that much better?

      • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:36AM (#42040723)
        I'd argue that republican vs democrat is missing the underlying cause. The parties aren't conspiring to erode our privacy or liberties. The voters have indicated they're willing to trade those away for a sense of security. The parties are selling the voters what they want.

        Stupid voters...
        • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by moeinvt (851793) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:22AM (#42041521)

          "The parties aren't conspiring to erode our privacy or liberties."

          I share your disappointment with the voting public, but I disagree on this point. It's obvious that the Patriot Act had been written long before 9-11-2001 and TPTB were just waiting for an excuse to implement it. That's solid proof of a "conspiracy".

          Do you think that the Patriot Act would be re-authorized if it was put up for national referendum? How about the bill being discussed in the article? IMO, the people that "support" these measures do so passively, while the people that oppose them are passionate in their opposition. For that reason, I think the opposition would win.

          Unfortunately, we're stuck with the false dichotomy of the 2 party system and most of the 'R's and 'D's agree that The People should have fewer civil liberties. This issue just isn't important enough for most people to compel them to vote for a 3rd party. That's tacit support for the policies, but it's not a matter of politicians bending to popular opinion.

        • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:51AM (#42042061) Journal

          Did you RTFA?

          dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns

          after law enforcement groups including the National District Attorneys' Association and the National Sheriffs' Association organizations objected to the legislation

          Justice Department officials have expressed their displeasure about Leahy's original bill

          The voters have NOT indicated they're willing to trade those away for a sense of security.
          The parties are NOT selling the voters what they want.

          This is a naked power grab by the portion of our government that would prefer a police state.

      • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @12:16PM (#42042467) Homepage Journal

        Do you really think that one side or the other is going be that much better?

        I have a feeling that the Greens or Libertarians may be.

    • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jawnn (445279) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:02AM (#42040193)
      Your glee is... misplaced. Since the paranoid responses to September 11 over a decade ago, both sides of the aisle can hang their heads in shame. The elected officials of both parties have pushed the power of government to interfere with our personal liberties on the promise of "keeping us safe". It's bullshit, of course, but to suggest that it is being shoveled by one party more than another is to ignore plain facts.
      • The elected officials of both parties have pushed the power of government to interfere with our personal liberties on the promise of "keeping us safe".

        After they realized the voters were screaming for it, led on by the media. The reason I bring this up is not to excuse either party, just that in order to solve it, the voters need to be educated. Probably by third party candidates. Third party candidates are the only ones with nothing to lose, and thus the only ones able to really tell the customers (voters) that they're wrong and stupid.

        Unfortunately, the media also is compounding the problem: they have an interest in carrying messages that the cu

    • by Anonymous Coward

      [google.com]

      That generation (generalizing Big time) - both Dems and Reps - have a completely different view of America. They were the kids who were alive during WWII and saw everyone working together to defeat evil. The government was Good. The government fought for freedom.

      To them, we are the source of Good, Truth, Justice, and that we can do no wrong. They lived during the US' best economic times, they saw the US become a World power and pretty much lead the World.

      My 20 something daughter and her grandparents talk

      • by rickb928 (945187)

        They do come from two different countries. Our choice is which country do we want going forward?

      • My 20 something daughter and her grandparents talk as if they come from two different countries. It's really entertaining. I look forward to Thanksgiving.

        I totally agree with this. I've had to block my grandparents from seeing my political posts on facebook because they can't stop trusting Fox and CNN.

    • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:26AM (#42040563)

      You could post something like "Damned Republicans!" and get a +5 on Slashdot, without anybody realizing that Leahy's a Democrat.

    • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:4, Informative)

      by ZonkerWilliam (953437) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:40AM (#42040791) Journal

      Good thing those nasty old Republicans aren't running the show. They might force the Feds to get a search warrant or something.

      Sadly neither side is the epitome of Liberty, but Democrats are no better, that is for sure.

      • by bhlowe (1803290)
        Free speech and limited government left the Democrat party after the Viet Nam War. Read Camile Paglia [salon.com] or the WSJ's Free Speech Died on Campus [wsj.com].

        Conservative talk radio is jammed with talk of the importance of liberty (Example, Mark Levin, who wrote Liberty and Tyranny [amazon.com]). Libertarians, too are obviously against intrusive government, for example, Ron Paul's farewell speech. [youtube.com]

        A lot of people think that Republican's are just a bunch of Christian, gun-toting hicks, and Democrats are the protectors of the little
    • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TheSpoom (715771) <{ten.00mrebu} {ta} {todhsals}> on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:47AM (#42040907) Homepage Journal

      You see a direct attack on the Fourth Amendment, and the best you can come up with is, "ha ha, it was your side that did it, not mine." Do you listen to yourself or are everyone's civil rights just another baseball game to you?

      • Re:Yay! Democrats! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ArcherB (796902) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:24AM (#42041569) Journal

        You see a direct attack on the Fourth Amendment, and the best you can come up with is, "ha ha, it was your side that did it, not mine." Do you listen to yourself or are everyone's civil rights just another baseball game to you?

        Maybe it's because when Bush was president and something like this is proposed, we heard repeatedly how evil Bush was. Now that Obama is president and this is a bill by a Democrat introduced into a Democrat led Senate, all we hear is that both parties are the same.

        Maybe everyone should go back and look at the vote they cast a couple of weeks ago and wonder if they made the right decision. What's the old saying about power corrupting?

      • I agree that this "two sides" perspective is idiotic, but in my experience, there are large numbers of Democrats who are simply in denial about their party and their president being just as bad as the other "team" and the previous president when it comes to civil liberties.

        After four years of watching President Obama perpetuating and expanding the imperial presidency of George W. Bush and either signing or re-authorizing legislation that is every bit as damaging as the laws passed under the previous adminis

    • by DaMattster (977781) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:50AM (#42040957)

      Guardians of our Liberties and Privacy!

      Good thing those nasty old Republicans aren't running the show. They might force the Feds to get a search warrant or something.

      Not quite. The Republicans would do exactly the same thing and this is why we desperately need a viable third party. The Libertarians would never propose or stand for this. Ditch both parties, become a Libertarian - honestly about a small, far less intrusive government.

  • by Nimey (114278) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:50AM (#42040011) Homepage Journal

    I saw the summary and immediately thought "oh, surely this is Yet Another example of the submitter tarting up a story and the editor not bothering to read the story first to verify the truth of it".

    The story seems to be true (except that it's just in the bill stage, so the headline should read "will let", but let's not let facts get in the way, Slashdot), but that's immaterial to my post here.

    • Well, I don't know about that, the quality of editing has always been variable here...remember Zonk?

      Anyway, in this case since they just cut and pasted the text 100% from the original article, not too much chance of making mistake.
      But not much added value either.

      How about asking /.ers their opinion on how to potentially circumvent these rather draconian-seeming proposals; store your mails offshort, and encrypt all local copies? Is there a convenient but more secure alternative to Google docs?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tmann72 (2473512)
      Considering it specifically calls it a Bill in the headline this seems to be one of those situations where anyone with knowledge of how the system works would automatically understand what you said anyway. Otherwise, even without your additions the argument wasn't really enhanced in any real way. The privacy problem is still very real, and the legislation should be stopped immediately. The fact that this is "only" at the bill stage doesn't diminish the realities of the privacy violations here. Aside from th
  • Reality (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yaddoshi (997885) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:53AM (#42040059)
    Whenever anyone starts freaking out about email snooping, I find it is a good time to point out that an email message that is not encrypted is roughly as secure in transit as a postcard.
    • by Smallpond (221300)

      Is there any reason that encryption is not the default in email these days?

      • Re:Reality (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Culture20 (968837) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:04AM (#42040217)
        Because it is non trivial to set up. People of average intelligence get confused with key exchanges, signing, etc.
        • Not necessarily. All we would need is some mechanism to automatically retrieve a public key for any intended recipient, like a phone book or directory. Heck, just add it on to the SMTP protocol or something. Yeah I know there are other issues to be resolved. My point is we could work out a technical solution, the real problem would be getting everyone to switch from the entrenched protocol we have now.
        • One can set up encrypted email trivially if one wants: see Phil Zimmerman's and Mike Janke's (new) "Silent Circle" offering, which does so for cell phones.
      • by Shavano (2541114)
        The reason is tha it would require exchange of keys with everybody who sends you email.
      • by SirGarlon (845873)
        Yes. Key management is surprising difficult, and does not scale.
      • by dpilot (134227)

        Do we really want that? People are generally BAD at security. If we actually had secure email, people and businesses might actually start to TRUST it. At that point the encryption keys become a much more valuable target than email accounts and passwords are today. I'm guessing that general identity theft and stolen key problems would be FAR worse than stolen password problems are today.

        I suspect lack of trust is much better than erroneous trust.

    • by Qzukk (229616)

      I find it is a good time to point out that an email message that is not encrypted is roughly as secure in transit as a postcard

      Thats ok, I've been steaming open your envelopes. You really ought to look into mail encryption.

    • Re:Reality (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ledow (319597) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:16AM (#42040409) Homepage

      And in my country the police (or anybody else) aren't allowed to routinely intercept my post without a warrant (and otherwise it has to be random discovery, i.e. the post office spot a suspicious package or trail of packages and inform the police, etc.).

      So even if your analogy were perfect, it's got little to do with the warrantless tracking.

      That said, even if you encrypt the postcard, there's nothing to say that the guy the other end isn't forced to give a decrypted version to his local law enforcement or face jail-time anyway. Which is, again, strangely true to the analogous email storage too.

      The problem here is NOT message security. The problem here is law enforcement being able to do these things with no tracking, no permissions, no way to tell if they are deliberately targeting innocents (e.g. fishing expeditions), no way to tell if they are intercepting their old girlfriend's post, etc. because of the desire to remove JUDICIAL OVERSIGHT. Nobody cares that X sent an email that was used to prosecute him.

      We *do* care that person in department *Y* has routine, unauthorised, complete access to things we do with no judicial oversight and could be using them to snoop on your girlfriend, or see if his hunch was right about your sexual habits. And THAT is none of their business, and why we have judicial oversight in the form of having to ask for warrants that are limited in scope (i.e. you can't just ask for a warrant to "always" do this "for ever").

      • Re:Reality (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:47AM (#42040909)

        That said, even if you encrypt the postcard, there's nothing to say that the guy the other end isn't forced to give a decrypted version to his local law enforcement or face jail-time anyway.

        You make a valid point but I think the gist of this legislation is to allow legal, casual snooping without the hassle of obtaining a warrant. If this bill passes, there will be egregious abuses (cop snooping on ex-wife, etc) that will go unchallenged because, well, it was legal. The only excuse needed will be "I felt the safety of the person was at risk" or "We had reason to believe..."

        Whole point is, this bill would make casual snooping and abuses very easy to get away with and the consequences non-existent and easy as pie to skirt-around.

      • by Sloppy (14984)

        That said, even if you encrypt the postcard, there's nothing to say that the guy the other end isn't forced to give a decrypted version to his local law enforcement or face jail-time anyway. Which is, again, strangely true to the analogous email storage too.

        Good luck forcing someone to do something, without them ever knowing about it. I might sometimes be a little .. unobservant .. but if someone ever hits me with a $5 wrench and threatens to do it again unless I spill my secrets, I will notice it happenin

    • by Ksevio (865461)
      Phone calls aren't encrypted either - they're probably even a bit easier to intercept as they don't need the post office involved.

      They still need a warrant to listen in on, however.

      Law enforcement also can't go back to see all my old post cards and listen to my old phone conversations they same way they could view my old emails.
    • by root_42 (103434)

      Opening a letter is very easy to do, and yet it is forbidden by law (at least here in Europe) without a warrant. The ability that you /can/ open or read something does not imply that you should be allowed to do that.

  • Fascinating... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fullback (968784) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:02AM (#42040189)

    I'm an ex-pat who's lived outside the U.S. for twenty years (this year). It's been fascinating to watch the transformation of America from a distance over the past decade.

    It's fascinating, like watching a car crash in slow motion is fascinating.

    • Re:Fascinating... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:20AM (#42040485) Homepage

      I'm an ex-pat who's lived outside the U.S. for twenty years (this year). It's been fascinating to watch the transformation of America from a distance over the past decade.

      America transformed into a snooping society well over a decade ago. Did you not read the European Parliament's ECHELON investigation in 2001 (a sensation sadly forgotten after the infinitely bigger press sensation of September 11th)? All that infrastructure was in place in the 1990s, and it was President Clinton who favoured intercepting foreign business correspondence in order to "level the playing field".

      • Legality (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gr8_phk (621180) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:28AM (#42040595)

        Did you not read the European Parliament's ECHELON investigation in 2001

        That was a secret thing because it was illegal. If your snooping powers are illegal, you'll do it anyway when it's really really important. There's always the risk of getting caught or bad PR or losing your job etc. But once you enshrine the snooping in law and sidestep constitutional protections, it become ripe for abuse. So yes, it has always been going on but they're now trying to take it to another level.

    • by fred911 (83970)

      ItÂs embarrassing, like a pot calling a kettle a black ass. Sad.

    • I'm an ex-pat who's lived outside the *any country* for twenty years (this year). It's been fascinating to watch the transformation of *any country* from a distance over the past decade.

      It's fascinating, like watching a car crash in slow motion is fascinating.

      FTFY

      There's a reason that people leave their country of birth, and there's also a reason they have to justify the benefits of that life-altering move to themselves.

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:08AM (#42040285)
    Stop whining on Slashdot for a few minutes and write your Senator and Congressman.
    • by PortHaven (242123)

      I've written my senators, I've met with my senators, about the only thing I haven't done is bloody well forcibly remove my senators.

      Sorry, the American system is broken. A farce.... and it's just a matter of time until those armored personnel carriers in every city start rolling around.

    • by dnahelicase (1594971) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:46AM (#42040899)

      Stop whining on Slashdot for a few minutes and write your Senator and Congressman.

      Last time I wrote my senator (Dan Coats) it was to express my disapproval in what he was doing and how he was acting on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

      I got a letter back in the mail, which started out "Thank you for your letter supporting me in my disapproval of how the Obama administration is handling the Bengazi incident. As you may or may not be aware, I sit on the Senate Intelligence Committee..."

      You can write, call, speak, campaign, but it doesn't really matter. Everyone that gets elected seem to think they have a "mandate" and do whatever they want until someone else gets elected and continues on in the same manner.

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:10AM (#42040313)

    Seriously, what does the 4th Amendment in particular, or the Constitution in general, even apply to anymore? The government can subvert every single protection afforded in the Constitution simply by saying "It's a national security matter" (or even "It's a law enforcement matter") and every court in the country will simply turn its head and ignore it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:12AM (#42040343)

    Let's call this what it is, high treason. The president, members of congress, and judges all swear an oath of office to defend the Constitution, not render it asunder.

    "I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. ..."

  • Now I understand the plan. The gov is going to close the budget deficit by data mining everyone's email, Facebook, etc. for preference and tendency data that will then be sold to advertisers for tons of money! This is a great idea and doesn't require any tax increases.
  • Yuck (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cornwallis (1188489) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:17AM (#42040417)

    Since I live in Vermont I figured I'd call his office - and was passed along to the Judiciary Committee - where I got the [what sounded like every other] usual dissembling response. ("The Senator is very concerned about privacy..."). I'm afraid unless EFF and others get involved very publicly this is a fait accompli.

    When SOPA was floating around I called and was told by a (what sounded like a 20-something year-old) staffer "You don't know what you're talking about at all" - exact words - so I'm not holding out much hope!

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      I'm afraid unless Google and some other major corporations get involved very publicly this is a fait accompli.

      You're underestimating how corrupt the US political system is.

  • where is a petition against this that I can sign?
  • by schwit1 (797399) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:22AM (#42040515)

    Assume everyone can read your email if it's not encrypted.

    • That's great and all, as long as everyone who emails you encrypts their email too. Or never forwards anything you send.
  • Maybe we can catch more government scandals.
  • Just a reminder before moaning about your privacy:

    Next time, think before you click. Unfortunately you'll have to wait four years to correct your mistake.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      I'm guessing you're laboring under the mistaken impression that there is any disagreement between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to civil liberties protections. There isn't: both major parties oppose civil liberties in the name of "national security".

  • This is about everyone having their mail server in american soil or hosted by an american company, maybe even routed. But if this law gives some protection to US citizens, wont give it to the rest of the people.
  • by rickb928 (945187) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:40AM (#42040789) Homepage Journal

    Access to my tweets without a warrant is not a fight I need to have. I spew these out to my supposedly private followers, and it would be trivial for the government to sneak into my list with a handle as unimaginiative as bigbrother or watchingyou or even mintruth. Privacy on Twitter is not an illusion, it is nonexistent.

    Access to my Facebook wall, if I designate it as for friends only, I think is improper. No, this I need to fight.

    Reading my email without a warrant? Time to consider that email is replacing snail mail so well that the USPS is going under, just slower than Hostess. If the government needs a warrant to open an envelope and read my paper mail, they should need a warrant to do the same to my email.

    And the electronic nature of email does not change the fact that I have as much an expectation of privacy as with paper mail. Think it over. Someone can, for most of us, reach into your mailbox and take out an envelope, steam it open, Polaroid the contents, and put it back. The medium does not change the act, merely the process. We need to re-establish the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, among others. This finally gets me to open up my phone and email my representatives today. We may have to have the revolution after all.

  • I think its time for US, the PUBLIC, to start CHARGING our ELECTED REPESENTATIVES with TREASON for doing this back handed, secretive bullshit. They need to go to prison and made an example of. I'm tired of these ELECTED TYRANTS trying to change the CONSTITUTION that THEY are SWORN TO UPHOLD and PROTECT !
  • by Zaphod-AVA (471116) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:42AM (#42040825)

    Secure in our papers and effects. When written, this included all private communications. Simply because we use electrons instead of ink and paper doesn't mean we lose the protection of the 4th amendment.

    • by alexo (9335)

      Simply because we use electrons instead of ink and paper doesn't mean we lose the protection of the 4th amendment.

      You lost the protection of the 4th amendment the moment you lost the ability to enforce it.
      The above also applies to any other right or freedom that you believe to have.

  • by aglider (2435074) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:46AM (#42040895) Homepage
    Why are they pushing for having a law for warrantless inspections!
    Come on! Since when in the USA a warrant is really really needed by feds?
    They can just do it, right?
    • by jxander (2605655)

      They can, and they will... when absolutely necessary. Laws be damned, if some Three-Letter-Acronym in Washington wants to read your email, snail mail, tap your phones, etc ... they can and will

      However, currently it's something that must be weighed against the public backlash if caught. Not something that can be done lightly.

      That's what this law aims to change. Make it perfectly legal so that every general can keep tabs on the FBI agent informing on him, about his torrid affair. Or how about we let any

  • ... for running my own mail servers at home, as the designers intended.

    Sendmail/Mimedefang, Dovecot, and Roundcube make for a very nice solution.

    For those who want something packaged, and don't mind the bloat and inability to stop things before they have to be analyzed by the antispam filters, there is Zimbra.

  • by Hellburner (127182) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:10AM (#42041321)

    This caused me to login and post for the first time in a long while.

    Just spoke to one of Senator Snowe's assistants in the DC office. The assistant was not familiar with HR 2471. I asked that the Senator oppose such legislation. Senator Collins' office in DC only gave me a voicemail...

    Called Senator Sanders' office in DC, since Sanders seems to actually understand little things like the Constitution. Sanders' assistant seemed to think that warrantless access was already the norm.

    Apparently I woke up in Russia this morning...

    Will contact Leahy's office soon. A little less time with Batman movies, Senator Leahy, a little more time guarding the rights of the citizenry.

  • by pubwvj (1045960) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:35AM (#42041777)

    You would be a fool to believe that the government is not accessing your emails, tweets, cloud data, phone calls, etc.

    In addition to these things they are also scanning your automobile license plate and logging it's locations, tracking your electric usage through smart meters, monitoring your credit card usage and using recognition software to track you on the streets and in public buildings.

    Once the government has surveillance capabilities they use it. Now they also have powerful processing, data mining and data warehousing capabilities and they're using those to the hilt. Much of it is automated.

    You are being watched. It has nothing to do with your paranoia. Assume it. Only an idiot would think otherwise.

  • by 3seas (184403) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:56AM (#42042135) Journal

    ...is invasion of privacy ... there ae no if's and's or buts about it.

    They are violating the intents of the founders and trying to subvert any probable correction by the people of the government as the founders recognized our rioghts and duty to do when they wrote the Declaration of Independence.

    There is a reason why the people have a right and duty to keep the government that is supposed to be representing the people, to be doing so.

  • by macbeth66 (204889) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @12:15PM (#42042449)

    I thought the government did this all the time anyway.

    And that way back, the idea was to poison the well so badly as to make these efforts not worthwile; encrpyt everything you can and include the 'seven words' that attract the NSA to your email.

    For those flag words, see pages 20 & 21 here; http://www.scribd.com/doc/82701103/Analyst-Desktop-Binder-REDACTED

  • by SuperTechnoNerd (964528) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:55PM (#42044881)
    My friend works for Verizon. He claims there is a "vault" in one of their data centers he worked in which is run by the NSA which no one - not even Verizon employees can enter. Now if that does not sound sinister I don't know what does.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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