January 20, 2022
digital privacy under attack

Senate Rejects Proposed New FBI Surveillance Powers That Would Cull Digital Privacy

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The amendment, which was sponsored by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, received 58 votes. That was two shy of the 60 votes needed to end further debate and move on to lump the amendment into a criminal justice funding bill. 46 Republicans and 11 Democrats supported the ammendent while seven Republicans and 30 Democrats dissented.

The amendment would have permitted the FBI to expand the types of information it collects through a special subpoena tool called a National Security Letter, which allows surveillance without needing a court order. Had the amendment passed, the FBI would be allowed to look at what websites someone visits and for how long, the IP addresses they use as well as email subject lines without needing a court warrant.