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FBI access to Internet activity and records without court order in the making




 by Joseph Ernest July 29, 2010


Newscast Media --The FBI may soon have access to Internet activity and records of Web users without a court order if a proposal by the Obama administration is approved.     


The four missing words that the Obama administration would like to add in order to make this possible are -"Electronic Communication Transactional Records." Once these words are added, the FBI may demand and seize records without the approval of a judge. Many Internet service providers have resisted the government's demands to turn over electronic records, arguing that surveillance law as written does not allow them to do so.


Officials say the type of information would include the addresses to which a user sends e-mail, the times and dates e-mail was sent and received, and most likely the user's browser history.  Administration officials say the information would not include the contents of the e-mail or other Internet connection.  This would seem to imply that government lawyers aren't interested in what the e-mail says, which defeats the whole purpose of seizing the emails to begin with.


Government lawyers say this practice would protect us from terrorists and would also help them retrieve information relevant to intelligence investigations. Michelle Richardson, a critic and lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union said, "The proposal is "incredibly bold, given the amount of electronic data the government is already getting."                           Add Comments>>                      





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