Browsing history has always been a topic of substantial discussion among privacy advocates. If it were up to the FBI, they would access all of our browsing histories without needing a warrant. Instead, they can make use of a national security letter, which does not require approval from a judge.
The FBI Is At It Once Again
It almost feels like the FBI is slowly but surely going through a checklist of privacy invasion topics. After trying to pass legislation to hack any computer running anonymity software, they now want access to our browsing history as well. An amendment to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act has been made. This change means law enforcement will no longer need a regular warrant to access browser history.
It is not the first time this topic has come up in US politics, as a similar proposal was voted down not too long ago. After adjusting the proposal to require a national security letter, it looks like lawmakers are in favor of having it approved. Senator John Cornyn is the one who reintroduced this proposal as an amendment to ECPA.
Assuming this amendment passes – which hopefully will not be the case – the FBI will no longer need a warrant in terrorism and spy instances. Instead, they can access online information which contains a lot of sensitive information. Email content is excluded from this list, though. On the other hand, they can obtain IP addresses, session data, and routing information, to name a few things.
Moreover, the FBI will not be able to get a very specific browser history result either. No exact parts of websites visited would be visible to them. For example, they can see someone accessed The Merkle, but not which article or subarea. Whether there is any truth to these claims, remains to be seen, though.
It is important to note law enforcement agencies will still have a lot of information they would be able to access. Political affiliation, religion, sexual orientation, and even medical conditions are just a few examples of information the FBI has at their disposal already. Add a browser history on top of that, and there is very little that seems to be off-limits anymore.
Source: Deep Dot Web
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