Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

About-face on e-mail surveillance bill

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

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil
3 min read
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

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.
•  Samsung claims iPad Mini, latest iPod violate its patents
•  ITC to give its pro-Apple decision a second look for Samsung

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.
•  Israel government Web sites hit by hacker blitz

Nokia's Here Maps is easy to navigate (pictures)

See all photos

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.
•  New app gives Google Maps some competition

•  Google Maps brings indoor layouts to the desktop

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.
•  Intel CEO startled board chairman with decision to retire
•  Otellini's legacy at Intel: Plentiful profits, mobile misfires

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.

Has Curiosity discovered organic compounds on Mars? (pictures)

See all photos

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.

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.
•  Irish regulators seek 'urgent' clarity on Facebook data changes
•  Facebook to users: Please vote to abolish your right to vote

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.
•  Google after antitrust: The good, the bad, and the ugly

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.
•  Xbox 720 to offer Kinect 2.0 and Blu-ray drive, says Xbox World

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