• Petitioned United States Senate and House of Representatives

This petition was delivered to:

United States Senate and House of Representatives

Stop Electronic Communication Privacy Act HEN11307 from Warrantless Access

    1. Daniel Hillman
    2. Petition by

      Daniel Hillman

      Virginia Beach, VA

“A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans’ e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.”

Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns, according to three individuals who have been negotiating with Leahy’s staff over the changes. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans’ e-mail, is scheduled for next week.

Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission – to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.

If that wasn’t enough to disturb the masses, one of the agencies is none other than the Federal Reserve Bank which is a private institution with no oversight by any government officials. The bill conveniently refers to them as an “independent regulatory agency” under its definitions:

(5) the term “independent regulatory agency” means the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Maritime Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Mine Enforcement Safety and Health Review Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the Office of Financial Research, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and any other similar agency designated by statute as a Federal independent regulatory agency or commission;

CNET outlines the highlighted changes to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act:
•Grants warrantless access to Americans’ electronic correspondence to over 22 federal agencies. Only a subpoena is required, not a search warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause.
•Permits state and local law enforcement to warrantlessly access Americans’ correspondence stored on systems not offered “to the public,” including university networks.
•Authorizes any law enforcement agency to access accounts without a warrant — or subsequent court review — if they claim “emergency” situations exist.
•Says providers “shall notify” law enforcement in advance of any plans to tell their customers that they’ve been the target of a warrant, order, or subpoena.
•Delays notification of customers whose accounts have been accessed from 3 days to “10 business days.” This notification can be postponed by up to 360 days.

This bill is expected to be voted on next Thursday. Please make your voices known.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To:
United States Senate and House of Representatives
Stop Electronic Communication Privacy Act HEN11307 from Warrantless Access

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 25 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Karen Rossi RICHMOND, KY
      • over 1 year ago

      our online activities are private. Without reason to invade our privacy, you are violating our great constitution.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Nathan Ottrey AUSTRALIA
      • over 1 year ago

      if this is going to happen in America, Australia will probably follow.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ross Wesenberg CLEAR LAKE, MN
      • over 1 year ago

      Since when did it become any of the government's or any related "independent regulatory agency's" flippin business what I want to talk to my friends about online???

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Elizabeth Warren OCEANSIDE, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      It is important to me because we should not have to relinquish our right to private communications simply because we rely on technology rather than pencil and paper for said communications. This law is obscene and every American who values freedom should fight it tooth and nail. What's next? Surveillance cameras in our homes if we subscribe to Cable TV?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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