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Subject 2017 Intelligence Authorization Act - Newly proposed law would let the FBI read your email without a court order
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Original Message A new Senate bill would let the FBI and other law enforcement agencies access the contents of any US citizen’s email without a court order during investigations. Instead, the FBI would need just a National Security Letter, which would force companies to provide email access to the agency without alerting the person who’s being investigated. The FBI can already access phone records without a court order, but that law doesn’t apply to email conversations.

The Senate Intelligence Committee approved the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Act on Tuesday, CNET reports. The bill will head to the full Senate now that it has passed the committee.


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The 2017 Intelligence Authorization Act, if enacted into law, would let the FBI obtain email records without a court order. All the agency would need is a National Security Letter, which lets the FBI get information from companies about their customers without alerting the person being investigated. Currently, the FBI can access phone records that way, but not emails.

The bill is the latest move by the federal government to shore up its powers when it comes to surveilling citizens. The government has been battling Apple and other tech companies for more access to data stored on devices. Law enforcement argues it can't fight crimes unless it has access to information on mobile gadgets. Technology companies and rights groups argue that features like strong encryption, which scrambles data so it can be read only by the intended recipient, are needed to keep people safe and protect privacy.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Tuesday in a joint statement that the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Act makes it easier for the government to keep Americans safe.


More at [link to www.cnet.com]
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