Obama Admin. To Expand Warrantless Internet Activity Searches


Through all the whining from the Left about warrantless wiretapping and such, at least that was done against foreigners. No so with the latest Obama administration proposal

The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual’s Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.

The administration wants to add just four words — “electronic communication transactional records” — to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge’s approval. Government lawyers say this category of information includes the addresses to which an Internet user sends e-mail; the times and dates e-mail was sent and received; and possibly a user’s browser history. It does not include, the lawyers hasten to point out, the “content” of e-mail or other Internet communication.

I’m sure they’re working towards getting the content included soon. If they were aiming at foreign terrorists, that would be one thing. They are not entitled to the protections of our Constitution unless we extend them. Anyone want to bet this is used against American citizens? If I was a conspiracy minded person, I might think this would be used against Americans who oppose Obama’s radical, far left, outside the mainstream agenda. But, a sitting US President would never do anything like that, would they? And never use a federal agency to go after political opponents, right?

The Barry Admin argues that this is just like getting basic phone records, which show the number and time of the call. When this was done by the Bush administration, they took that and looked for patterns to know foreign terrorists. If you are asking for actual email addresses, and potentially internet browsing records, you are going well beyond that basic data. You are now into specifics. Get a warrant.

Interestingly, the Washington Post is not in their “this is horrible!!!!!” mode, just simply passing on some information. It was on the front page of today’s paper, though. And some liberals are not amused by the proposal:

  • Mother Jones writes “You know, if I’d wanted Dick Cheney as president I would have just voted for him.”
  • Emptywheel at Firedoglake: “This is one of the most important pieces of civil liberties news in a long time” (and he doesn’t mean it in a good way)
  • At the Democratic Underground, the first two comments are: The administration hates us for our freedom. and The administration wants to fight us over here so they don’t have to fight us over there. nt (and most of the comments are not amused by the Obama admin’s proposal. Good for them!)

However, nothing from many of the normal players, such as the ACLU, Daily Kos, and Huffington Post. You know this would be huge and require non-stop articles if Bush did it from them. Now? Not so much.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach

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