FBI Wants Your Search History

find arial, site sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;”>The Obama administration is seeking to expand the investigatory powers given to the FBI and amend surveillance legislation to give the Bureau explicit authority to access a suspect’s internet browsing history and all electronic data without a warrant in cases related terrorism and spying.

medical arial,sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;”>FBI Director James Comey painted the moves as an attempt to fix “a typo” in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which he claims has caused some tech firms to prevent the FBI from accessing data Congress has intended them to.

Tech firms and privacy advocates say that the FBI is seeking an expansion of powers that severely infringes in the right to privacy of American citizens.

This is not the first time such an attempt has been made. The White House made a similar effort six years ago, however due to pressure from privacy advocates and members of the tech industry the attempt was dropped.

Now, lawmakers are advancing legislation that would grant the Bureau access to “electronic communication transactional records” using a national security letter. An NSL is an administrative subpoena that can issued by a special agent in charge of an FBI field office with no judicial supervision.

Records in question could include an individual’s IP address and the amount of time spent on a given website, but not content such as search queries.

Comey claims that the inability to obtain such data “affects [the FBI’s] work in a very, very big and practical way,” while Republican Senator John Cornyn said the law is “needlessly hamstringing our counterintelligence and counterterrorism efforts.”

The revision will be under Congress consideration later this year.

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Article courtesy : iHLSIsrael Homeland Security

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