Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/20/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

So long, private browsing!

The government is about to get sweeping power to read your email, search your Facebook, and even read messages sent at work or on other private email networks, all without a warrant. You can thank Senator Patrick Leahy for the intrusion.

It's okay Mr. Leahy, I wasn't using my privacy anyway.

It's okay Mr. Leahy, I wasn't using my privacy anyway.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/20/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: private browsing, incognito mode, bill, senate judiciary committee, Patrick Leahy, privacy, onlne, the cloud, email, warrant, search, fourth amendment


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Democratic chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, originally sponsored a bill that would increase your privacy online. However, protests from law enforcement have caused him to rewrite the bill to weaken it, significantly.

The new version of the bill would allow some 22 government agencies the power to snoop your inboxes to read email, Facebook posts, and Twitter direct messages, as well as Google Docs and messages sent on private networks, all without a warrant and with no urgency to notify you that it happened.

The bill would even allow the FBI and Homeland Security full access to your internet accounts without so much as notifying you or a judge. Even your private browsing history could be searched.

Originally, the bill was written to require a warrant signed by a judge and backed by probable cause before such an intrusive search could be conducted. Now, all of that becomes unnecessary for prying eyes. Now that law enforcement has had their say, it's been dramatically rewritten.

Among the outrageous provisions now written into the bill:

-At least 22 federal agencies may now have warrantless access to your electronic correspondence with as little as a subpoena. No more permission from a judge is required, and no warrant backed by probable cause is necessary.

-Any law enforcement agency may access your email including private accounts such as those used at a school, university, or at work.

-Any agency may read your email at any time if they declare an "emergency" need to do so. There will be no court review before this happens; shoot first ask questions later.

-Internet and other providers must tell law enforcement officials first if they plan to notify victims of this surveillance of any intrusion. This amounts to asking permission to tell you that your private correspondence has been read. It is a 180 degree reversal from existing policy.

-The bill delays notification of customers from the current 3 day requirement to 10 business days. Those 10 business days can be dragged out to a year if law enforcement chooses.

This means that law enforcement can now monitor your personal communications at almost any time under the pretext of an "emergency."

Currently, most Americans would assume this would involve terror suspects and the need to move quickly and quietly to investigate their online activities. However, getting permission to access the private networks of suspected terrorists isn't that difficult.

Instead, the aim of various agencies is to use these sweeping new permissions to investigate anyone they deem to be engaged in illegal activity. More than likely, they may "discover" illegal activity that was not previously sought as a result of a warrantless search - and they can prosecute.

Presently, the Fourth Amendment requires a warrant supported by probable cause and included in the warrant shall be a description of what is sought. This protection would be stripped by the new law.

While the proposal appears to be blatantly unconstitutional, privacy advocates should not rely on this defense. The government routinely passes laws that are later found to be unconstitutional, and occasionally, supreme courts uphold them.

The Supreme Court of the United States once upheld slavery, segregation, the oppression of women, and more recently, ruled against religious freedom as per Obamacare and the HHS contraception and abortifacient edict, which is still being fought in several states.

Also worrying the matter is the reality that the internet remains a sort of virtual "untamed" wild west where the laws and rules remain vague. The current bill is only just now attempting to update a 1980's era privacy bill to meet online concerns.

Most internet service providers are objecting to the proposed bill because it strips privacy rights away from customers. As more service providers try to encourage their clients to use cloud-based services, the erosion of internet privacy is discouraging them. Users enjoy more privacy if they retain their information on hard drives, media devices such as USB drives, or even in a cookie jar.

If the law passes, it will be a setback for online privacy as well as the civil rights of all Americans. A vote on the bill is expected next week.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

The man behind the mess of Obamacare wants you to encourage abortion! Watch

Image of John Gruber, the man behind Obamacare, is an ardent supporter of abortion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The architect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), John Gruber, has made a fool of President Obama and the Democrats in his administration once again. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Gruber has been recorded numerous times admitting that the ACA was written and ... continue reading


Should Obama be able to use the IRS as a weapon to target conservative opponents? Watch

Image of President Obama has used the IRS as a weapon to target Tea Party and conservative opponents.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It should come as a surprise to no one that fraud and power abuse is rampant in President Obama's White House, and the new scandal fall on the heals of the old IRS tax scandals of the last few years. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Treasury Inspector ... continue reading


Medicare, Social Security - all for illegal immigrants, thanks to Obama Watch

Image of In other words, those who work, which includes payroll taxes -- also known as FICA, as they are collected under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In President Obama's new plan to protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, many of these same individuals will be eligible to receive Social Security, Medicare and a wide array of other federal benefits. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Obama's war on America continues with secret Thanksgiving regulations dump Watch

Image of President Obama is going to release a new set of regulations over the Thanksgiving holiday, when many Americans are unlike to notice.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Not content to listen to the voice of the American people after the 2014 midterm election, President Obama is set on continuing his power grab, and forcing his will whether Americans like it or not. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The White House is getting ... continue reading


Sen. Graham: Benghazi report misses information and is 'garbage' Watch

Image of Sen. Graham said he will take a 'hard look' at the new report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has blasted the Benghazi report recently released by the house Intelligence Committee. Graham says the report, released on Friday, is inaccurate, and called it "full of crap." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Saying he thought "the ... continue reading


Seventh terrorist suspect released from Guantanamo in two weeks; Republicans protest Watch

Image of Muhammad al-Zahrani, became the 13th prisoner released this year and the seventh in just two weeks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Saudi Arabian man has been released from the terrorist holding facility Guantanamo Bay. He was the seventh such suspect in two weeks to have been transferred from the United States to another nation. The practice has created a great hue and cry among Republicans, who ... continue reading


The Immigration Conflagration and the Dangers of a Benevolent Dictator

Image of

By Keith A. Fournier

There is no question that comprehensive immigration reform is needed. Most people acknowledge this as a fact. However, the truth is President Obama could have participated in such reform, and he knows it, by working with the 114th Congress which will soon be sworn ... continue reading


Running out the door, Republicans too busy with Thanksgiving to address laws Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With Thanksgiving turkeys dancing in their heads, many Republican lawmakers are running out the door in lieu of considering a plethora of new legislation. Republican members have discussed resolutions of disapproval and censure. One unnamed lawmaker was ... continue reading


The TOP 10 list of countries where slavery is most prevalent. DO YOU BENEFIT FROM SLAVERY? You might be shocked! Watch

Image of Poor Haitians are commonly enslaved by wealthier family members.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Last week it was announced that some 36 million people around the world live in slavery, a number that is higher than at any time in history. While most Americans feel that slavery is a distant problem, which has little or no effect on their lives, the sad fact is that ... continue reading


Raking in the dough: Obamacare 'architect' worth millions Watch

Image of Jonathan Gruber has a lucrative connection with the Department of Health and Human Services.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Jonathan Gruber's good fortune would make lots of college students change their majors to economics. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with his firm Gruber Microsimulation Model has raked in millions. Gruber's chief function is estimating the ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 20:1-4, 11--21:2
1 Then I saw an angel come down from heaven with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 28th, 2014 Image

St. Catherine Laboure
November 28: St. Catherine Laboure, virgin, was born on May 2, 1806. At an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter