In yet another rampant example of federal hatred of the Constitution and the basic right to privacy, a re-written bill by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy would give a slew of government agencies (22 to be exact) virtually unrestricted access to emails, Facebook posts and Twitter messages of the American people.
According to a report by CNET, Leahy’s original version of the bill actually protected Americans from warrantless searches of personal information. After complaints from law enforcement and government entities arguing that obtaining warrants would have an “adverse impact” on investigations, the senator re-wrote the bill and added provisions that destroy personal privacy and allows government agencies access to information without warrants or oversight.
The bill would give the Federal Bureau of Investigation complete access to American’s personal information through their Internet Service Provider without notification of the account holder – or even a judge. The bill essentially eliminates privacy and personal security and recklessly gives unrestrained access to federal agencies – a power that is ripe for abuse.
Under the bill, agencies like the Federal Reserve, OSHA, the Federal Trade Commission and the National Labor Relations Board would gain easy access to American’s information. It is puzzling why any of these organizations need access to personal information of the American people, especially without basic due process of obtaining a warrant.
A vote on the bill is scheduled for next week. However, after public outcry over the blatant and transparent destruction of the privacy of all Americans, Leahy backed off of his support of his own bill, a damage control move by the senator in an attempt to save any shred of credibility he may still have with the American people.
Leahy’s attempt at damage control is meaningless, however. The bill remains scheduled for a vote next week. American’s privacy remains at stake, and the career Vermont politician is doing his best to skirt the line between getting the bill passed in the Senate and dodging responsibility for the continued destruction of privacy in the United States.
After such a public outcry, it is unclear how many in the Senate are in support of this bill, although one would hope a bill this transparently destructive to the privacy of all Americans would garner very little support – with or without negative publicity.