The intelligence community and the NSA continue to exert enormous influence over the Congress, often at the expense of personal privacy. Just yesterday the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 14-1 in favor of a new bill that would allow the FBI to access personal emails without a court order of any kind. Instead it would act on force of a National Security Letter.
Currently, the FBI can obtain only phone records with a National Security Letter, not email records; for email records they need an order from a FISA court.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) cast the lone vote in opposition to the bill late Tuesday, telling Fast Company he intends to marshall a “quiet lobbying campaign” to educate other members on the dangers of the bill. The senator said votes on such issues often start out one-sided in favor of surveillance interests, but eventually swing the other way as members understand the privacy implications. (Image: Wyden)