A vote on the bill, which was recently re-written by Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, is set for next week.
Cnet has pinpointed all the new changes to the bill:
* 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.
Emails are not the only "electronic correspondence," however. The new bill will allow the agencies to access your Google Docs files, Facebook posts and picture, Twitter direct messages (and private feed posts), as well. As you can see from the points, the agencies will no longer need probable cause, warrants and they don't even need to tell the account holder until 10 business days later.
You can view the list of agencies here, that would have access if this bill is to pass.
We will keep you updated.
Written by: Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2012 21:00