While previous versions of the bill allowed 22 agencies to read emails, the latest iteration does not.
The senate proposal set for next week that "now authorizes warrantless access to Americans' e-mail," as CNET's Declan McCullagh exclaimed, doesn't actually do that, according to the Senator actually writing the bill. McCullagh cites an older version of the bill that would, in the words of The Drudge Report today, "LET FEDS READ YOUR EMAIL."
Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies -- including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission -- to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge. (CNET obtained the revised draft from a source involved in the negotiations with Leahy.)
Turns out, that's a former version of the privacy bill — not the one up for discussion in the Senate Judiciary Committee, reports Forbes's Kashmir Hill. A spokesperson for Patrick Leahy, the Senator behind the bill, told Hill that McCullagh was plain "wrong." She also spoke with sources "privy to conversations about the impending bill" who also confirmed that McCullagh had the wrong draft. Hill, however, does not have any other information on what the proposal will include.
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