Does the US Senate Want to Read Your E-mail?

By Rich Steeves November 20, 2012

I know what you are thinking. What if the government hacks into my e-mail? Will they discover you have been having an illicit affair with a married man? Will they learn that you have a tendency to send links to your favorite pornographic movies to your ex? Could they discover that you are the kind of person who does NOT pass along forwards from your great aunt, even though you know it could bring fourteen years of bad luck to you and your family?!

But, a better question is this: will the government be able to read my e-mail (as boring and SPAM-filled as it may be) without a warrant? Well, the good news is, even though CNET reported that a bill up for vote in the Senate next week will not allow the government to do so, at least according to one of the Senators behind the legislation.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Now a former version of the bill would have allowed more than 22 agencies, from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, to access your e-mail, as well as your Google Docs, Facebook posts, Twitter messages and more without a warrant, and it would have let the FBI and Homeland Security get full access to your Internet accounts without your knowledge.

I just hope the government is not interested in my love life (not that there is much to read!)

Fortunately, according to a spokesperson for Senator Patrick Leahy, one of the legislators behind the bill, those powers are not in the current draft of the piece of legislation. Leahy’s office says that the bill "provides enhanced privacy protections for American consumers by... requiring that the government obtain a search warrant." 

Either way, we’ll get to learn the full truth about the bill next week, when the Senate votes on it and the public gets to see its contents. Until then, it’s probably a good idea to start deleting those dirty jokes from grandma and illicit tweets to your former lovers…




Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

TechZone360 Web Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Comings & Goings: Citrix CEO Steps Down as Company Gears for an Overhaul

By: Tara Seals    7/29/2015

There appears to be a bit of shakeup going on over at Citrix, the venerable distributed computing company. Long-time Citrix CEO Mark Templeton has ann…

Read More

Three Reasons Passwords Are Here to Stay

By: TMCnet Special Guest    7/28/2015

Siber Systems explains why someday passwords will be a thing of the past, but not any time soon.

Read More

Wheelings & Dealings: Visa Joins Amex with Giant Investment in Payment Startup Stripe

By: Laura Stotler    7/28/2015

Payment startup company Stripe has scored a whopping round of funding, with Visa taking a major interest in the company's technology. The funding amou…

Read More

Google Removing Google Plus Requirements

By: Andrew Bindelglass    7/28/2015

When Google first revealed its answer to social media giants Facebook and Twitter in 2011, it was met largely with a fizzle. With membership in Google…

Read More

US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Validates Class Action Suit Over Data Breach

By: Peter Bernstein    7/27/2015

Since what follows is about legal matters, let me start with the disclosure that I am not a lawyer, have no legal training and this is not an attempt …

Read More