“The office of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is pushing back against charges that he is tweaking legislation in order to give the government warrantless power to access Americans’ digital communications,” Adam Goldberg reports for The Huffington Post. “According to a report by CNET News’ Declan McCullagh, Leahy has proposed changes to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act that would allow certain government agencies to access civilians’ email or other correspondence without first obtaining a warrant.”

“When reached for comment by The Huffington Post, Leahy’s office contested the report’s details,” Goldberg reports. “‘Senator Leahy is a privacy guy and supports strong privacy laws,’ said Jessica Brady, a Leahy spokeswoman. ‘This bill is almost 30 years old and needs to be updated to address email. But this doesn’t mean warrantless searches of email will be in it. It won’t. Whatever that was is not the posture of the committee,’ she continued, referring to language in the CNET report.”

Goldberg reports, “Brady said that Leahy’s bill would require a warrant to search email and would include a provision requiring people to be notified if such a search had occurred.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If so, good to hear. What matter is what’s in the bill submitted to a vote. We’ll be watching, along with many others, to make sure it preserves or strengthens privacy rather than trampling Americans’ constitutional right to unreasonable searches and seizures.

Related article:
U.S. Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail, online files without warrants – November 20, 2012

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “John K.” for the heads up.]