Senate Reauthorizes Warrantless Surveillance of Internet Browsing History

HeadlineMay 15, 2020

The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to reauthorize sweeping government surveillance powers under the USA PATRIOT Act. On Wednesday, senators voted on an amendment that would have barred law enforcement from searching people’s internet browsing and search history data without a warrant. The amendment needed 60 votes to pass but only garnered 59, with 10 Democrats voting against it. Several senators, including Patty Murray and Bernie Sanders, were absent during the roll call. The amendment was co-sponsored by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, who told reporters, “Getting access to somebody’s web browsing history is almost like spying on their thoughts. This level of surveillance absolutely ought to require a warrant.”

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