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Thu May 26, 2016, 10:11 PM

Bill would expand FBI's warrantless access to online records, senators warn

Source: The Guardian

Bill would expand FBI's warrantless access to online records, senators warn

Two senators say it could expand nonjudicial subpoena to acquire email
records, chat accounts, account login records, browser histories and social
media usage


Spencer Ackerman in New York
Friday 27 May 2016 00.19 BST

Two US senators have warned that a new bill would vastly expand the FBI’s warrantless access to Americans’ online records.

Although the text of the 2017 intelligence authorization bill is not yet available to the public, two members of the Senate intelligence committee have said the bill could expand the remit of a nonjudicial subpoena called a National Security Letter (NSLs) to acquire Americans’ email records, chat or messaging accounts, account login records, browser histories and social-media service usage.

While NSLs typically apply to phone or banking records and email addresses, the bill, which cleared the Senate intelligence panel on Tuesday by a 14-1 vote, appears to change the scope of the longstanding term “electronic communications transaction records”.

Senator Ron Wyden criticized the change as a sweeping expansion of warrantless surveillance.

“While this bill does not clearly define ‘electronic communication transaction records’, this term could easily be read to encompass records of whom individuals exchange emails with and when, as well as their login history, IP addresses, and internet browsing history,” Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon who voted against the bill, told the Guardian.

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Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/26/fbi-intelligence-senate-bill-warrants-data-access

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