Congress OKs Warrantless Email Spying

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Dec. 26 2012 2:44 PM

Congress OKs Warrantless Email Spying

If the hackers don’t get your email, the government might.

The Senate has sent legislation to President Obama that strips out an amendment that would have forced law enforcement to obtain warrants before reading the emails of U.S. citizens stored in the cloud. 

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The new measure is a tweak to the Video Privacy Protection Act, which outlaws the disclosure of video-rental information unless given consent by customers. The act was adopted in 1988 after failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork's rental history was leaked to the Washington City Paper.

With President Obama's signature, the law would continue current rules that let the government collect emails and other cloud data that has been stored on a third-party server for six months or more.

So for now, think twice before you send emails—because Big Brother could easily be watching.

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