About-face on e-mail surveillance bill

week in review Senator abandons controversial proposal, while Intel's longtime CEO announces retirement. Also: Samsung to see Apple settlement details.

Sen. Patrick Leahy.

week in review After public criticism of a proposal that would let government agencies warrantlessly access Americans' e-mail, a prominent senator says he will "not support" such an idea.

Sen. Patrick Leahy has abandoned his controversial proposal that would grant government agencies more surveillance power -- including warrantless access to Americans' e-mail accounts -- than they possess under current law. The Vermont Democrat said on Twitter that he would "not support such an exception" for warrantless access, a few hours after a CNET article disclosed the existence of the measure.

Leahy's about-face comes in response to a deluge of criticism, including the American Civil Liberties Union saying that warrants should be required, and the conservative group FreedomWorks launching a petition to Congress -- with more than 2,300 messages sent so far -- titled: "Tell Congress: Stay Out of My Email!"

Leahy's proposal would have allowed over 22 agencies -- including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission -- to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would have given the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.
•  Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants

More headlines

<b>Judge: Samsung gets to view Apple-HTC settlement details

Samsung's lawyers will be able to see the full settlement agreement made between Apple and HTC earlier this month.
&#149;&nbsp; Samsung claims iPad Mini, latest iPod violate its patents
&#149;&nbsp; ITC to give its pro-Apple decision a second look for Samsung

<b>Anonymous escalates its 'cyberwar' against Israel

The hacking collective's latest campaign against Israel escalates, with defacements of Microsoft Israel Web sites and the publication of alleged donors to a pro-Israel group.
&#149;&nbsp; Israel government Web sites hit by hacker blitz

<b>Nokia's Here Maps finds its way to Apple's App Store

The mobile application offers free voice navigation, traffic reports, and a host of location-based features.
&#149;&nbsp; New app gives Google Maps some competition
&#149;&nbsp; Google Maps brings indoor layouts to the desktop

<b>Intel CEO Paul Otellini will retire in May

After an almost 40-year career with the chip giant, Otellini will step down as president and CEO in the second quarter of next year.
&#149;&nbsp; Intel CEO startled board chairman with decision to retire
&#149;&nbsp; Otellini's legacy at Intel: Plentiful profits, mobile misfires

<b>U.S. accused of cyberattack on French government

The United States denies it was involved in any attack on the French government, calling it a top ally.

<b>NASA's not sharing a 'historic' find on Mars... yet

Data from a sample of Martian dirt could be earth-shattering, but the space agency is taking time to check its work.

<b>Facebook tests new features, expands ad tracking program

The social network tests two new features for a user's news feed and deploys a new way to track ads.
&#149;&nbsp; Irish regulators seek 'urgent' clarity on Facebook data changes
&#149;&nbsp; Facebook to users: Please vote to abolish your right to vote

<b>Google may dodge FTC's antitrust bullet, report says

Federal regulators scrutinizing Google may not have a strong enough case to file a lawsuit targeting the company's search service, Bloomberg reports.
&#149;&nbsp; Google after antitrust: The good, the bad, and the ugly

<b>Xbox set-top device reportedly coming next year

According to The Verge, Microsoft is poised to release an always-on box centered around casual gaming and streaming video. The device is part of Microsoft's two Xbox strategy.
&#149;&nbsp; Xbox 720 to offer Kinect 2.0 and Blu-ray drive, says Xbox World

Also of note
&#149;&nbsp; Feds aim to kill .Army, other military domains
&#149;&nbsp; Obama may have talked Kim DotCom with New Zealand PM
&#149;&nbsp; World's oldest working computer gets fired up

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Last-minute gift ideas

Under pressure? These will deliver on time

With plenty of top-notch retailers offering digital gifts, you still have time to salvage your gift-giving reputation.