John Vibes | Truth Theory
This week, the United States Senate voted to allow government agencies to access your browsing history without a warrant. The bill was a reauthorization of the Patriot Act, but there was a privacy amendment that was added to the bill in an attempt to curtail the overreach in government surveillance. Unfortunately, that amendment narrowly failed by just one vote this week.
The amendment would have forced agencies like the FBI and CIA to obtain a warrant showing probable cause that a crime was committed in order to access a person’s browsing history, but since it didn’t pass, the surveillance activities that these agencies have already been taking part in are now reconfirmed and codified into law. This is one of three amendments that the ACLU asked congress to add to the Patriot Act reauthorization. Some senators didn’t vote on the measure at all, including Ben Sasse and Bernie Sanders not voting.
One of the amendments suggested by the ACLU did pass, and it will allow judges ruling on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests to seek input from independent experts.
According to the ACLU, the amendment that passed gives a small level protection, but not as much as a warrant requirement.