Big Brother wants your e-mail and he wants to distribute your e-mail without a warrant. The recently re-written H.R. 2471 attacks your 4th Amendment right “to be secure in your persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.” The U.S. Senate will vote tomorrow on whether to invade your e-mail accounts and digital files without a warrant. The bill will allow Big Brother to distribute your e-mail and other digital files to 22 federal agencies.
According to Cnet.com, H.R. 2471:
• Grants warrantless access to Americans’ electronic correspondence to over 22 federal agencies. Only a subpoena is required, not a search warrant signed by a judge based upon probable cause.
• Permits state and local law enforcement to warrantlessly access Americans’ correspondence stored on systems not offered “to the public,” including university networks.
• Authorizes any law enforcement agency to access accounts without a warrant – or subsequent court review – if they claim “emergency” situations exist.
• Says providers “shall notify” law enforcement in advance of any plans to tell their customers that they’ve been the target of a warrant, order, or a subpoena.
• Delays notification of customers whose accounts have been accessed from 3 days to “10 business days.” This notification can be postponed by up to 360 days.
The 4th Amendment to the Constitution says that your “papers and effects”
“shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The original version of the bill required a warrant to open your e-mails, but law enforcement agencies and the Department of Justice (DOJ) objected to its wording. They suggested the bill would have an “adverse impact” upon criminal investigations. Amongst the agencies that would be granted subpoena power to open your e-mail and digital files would be: NLRB, OSHA, SEC FTC, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Maritime Commission, and the Mine Enforcement Safety and Health Review Commission.
The Supreme Court ruled in January against Big Brother’s attempt to place warrantless GPS tracking of vehicles into its arsenal of weapons attacking the 4th Amendment. Justice Sotomayor wrote in her opinion,
“I for one doubt that people would accept without complaint the warrantless disclosure to the government of a list of every Web site they had visited in the last week, or month, or year.”
If GPS tracking requires a warrant, then surely e-mail tracking would be considered an unfair attack upon our 4th Amendment rights.
Please join the fight to protect our 4th Amendment rights,
DO IT TODAY!
Sign the petition against H.R. 2471 and write or call your Senators to voice your opposition to H.R. 2471. The widget below will provide an easy way to email your opposition to your Senators.
Senate Judiciary Committee voted overwhelmingly yesterday to approve requirement for warrants to read e-mails and digital files. Full Senate vote to take place next year. More at: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/270093-senate-panel-votes-to-require-warrant-for-police-email-searches