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Commentary :: Human Rights
Senate bill Rewritten So Cops / Feds Can Read Your Email Without Warrants
20 Nov 2012
Imagine getting an email that erroneously appeared to include you as a participant in a crime or conspiracy after Sen. Patrick Leahy’s Internet Access bill is passed.
Sen. Patrick Leahy’s has reworked his privacy bill H.R. 2471 touted to protect Americans' e-mail privacy (into a warrant-less Internet access bill) that will allow the FBI, police and more than 22 federal agencies without probable cause to access Americans’ private email and other communications–-using only a subpoena.

Any warrant-less seized evidence may be introduced in U.S. Civil; Criminal and Administrative prosecutions or under (NDAA) The National Defense Authorization ACT. Police and federal agencies may take out of context any innocent—hastily written email, fax or phone call record to allege a crime or violation was committed to cause a person’s arrest, fines and or civil asset forfeiture of their property. There are more than 400 laws/violations that can subject property to Government asset forfeiture that require only a civil preponderance of evidence.

Imagine getting an email that erroneously appeared to include you as a participant in a crime or conspiracy. If Sen. Leahy’s Internet Access bill is passed, the cops and the Feds without a warrant could use that email as evidence in court against you or your business.

A Senate vote on Sen. Patrick Leahy’s warrant-less access bill is scheduled before November 30, 2012.

It is problematic e.g. see (COINTELPRO) that U.S. Government, federal agencies and police without probable cause or warrants may search the email of activists, Americans and corporations that politically disagree with U.S. Government hoping to find evidence of wrongdoing.

The passed “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000” (effectively eliminated) the “five year statue of limitations” for Government Civil Asset Forfeiture: the statute now runs five years (from the date) government or a police agency allege they “learned” an asset became subject to forfeiture. Should (no warrant) government Internet Access (surveillance) be approved by the Senate, police will relentlessly sift through business and Citizens’ (government retained Internet data), emails and phone communications to discover crimes and civil violations.

Annually U.S. Government seizes billions in assets without filing criminal charges. Increasingly local police are turning their criminal investigations over to Federal Agencies to receive an 80% rebate of forfeited assets. Federal Government is not required to charge someone with a crime to forfeit property.

You may read more about Sen. Patrick Leahy’s reworked privacy bill H.R. 2471 at CNET:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57552225-38/senate-bill-rewrite-lets-f

This work is in the public domain