This is nothing but an end run around the Fourth Amendment and Habaeus Corpus.
c|net has discovered this marked departure from Leahy’s prior approach:
“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.
The list of agencies that would receive civil subpoena authority for the contents of electronic communications also includes the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Maritime Commission, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Mine Enforcement Safety and Health Review Commission.” – c|net
This is beyond the pale. True, the bill does state police must get warrants in some cases, the new bill empowers the Federal agencies to trample your privacy with impunity… and agencies which have no legitimate excuse, if there were any.
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies already must obtain warrants for e-mail in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, thanks to a ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2010.
While the 1980’s current legislation does need revamping, this isn’t it.
You need your voices to be heard, folks. If you’re quiet, you’ll deserve what you get.