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2 Senators Criticize Bill That Would Expand FBI’s Warrantless Access to Online Records

computer-photo [1]By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new bill would give the FBI more flexibility to gain warrantless access to online records of Americans.

Two U.S. senators have criticized the 2017 intelligence authorization bill as an overreach that could make it easier for federal investigators to use National Security Letters to access email records, messaging accounts, login records, browser history and social media activity, the Guardian reports.  [2]

Although the text of the bill hasn’t be discloed yet, Sen. Ron Wyden said the change represents 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.

Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico said he hope to remove the NSL expansion on the bill.

“The FBI has not made a convincing case that it needs any process other than the one that already exists, especially one that freely allows the FBI access to law-abiding Americans’ emails and web activity,” Henrich said.