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Republicans want to give the FBI authority to access your browser history without a warrant

Today the Senate will vote on an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Act that Arizona Senator John McCain filed on Monday that will give the FBI easy access to anyone’s browsing history and email data without needing to obtain a warrant first, reports Vice. If passed the amendment will allow a person’s browsing history and email data to be accessible under an administrative subpoena known as National Security Letters (NSL), which doesn’t require a warrant. If the bill passes, Vice notes:

To put it simply, if the FBI wants to know what time you logged out of your Facebook account, they just need to submit an NSL to Facebook and demand they hand over that information. Often, companies like Google or Facebook will be under a gag order. They could be sharing information about your (not-so-private) online activities with federal agents, and you would be none the wiser.

[Photo: Flickr user Tim Snell]MG