Push to expand FBI surveillance authority threatens US email privacy bill
An effort in the U.S. Senate to expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation's authority to use a secretive surveillance order has delayed a vote on a popular email privacy bill, casting further doubt on whether the legislation will become law this year.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday postponed consideration of a measure that would require government authorities to obtain a search warrant before asking technology companies, such as Microsoft and Alphabet Inc's Google , to hand over old emails. A version of the Senate bill unanimously passed the House last month.
Those amendments include one by Senator John Cornyn, the second ranking Republican in the Senate, that would broaden the FBI's authority to deploy an administrative subpoena known as a National Security Letter to include electronic communications transaction records such as the timestamps of emails and their senders and recipients.