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Sen. John Cornyn Seeks to Authorize FBI to Access Electronic Records Without Court Order Via Amendment to ECPA

cybersecuritySen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has proposed an amendment to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act that would authorize the FBI to gain access to “electronic communication transactional records” through the use of a national security letter, the Washington Post reported Monday.

Ellen Nakashima writes the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled Thursday to tackle the bill that Cornyn introduced as per the bureau’s request.

An NSL is an administrative subpoena that would allow the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to collect information on an individual’s online browsing history, internet protocol address as well as the time a person spends on a specific website without the need for a warrant or judge’s approval in intelligence and terrorism cases, the Post reports.

FBI Director James Comey said the proposed legislation aims to rectify “a typo” in ECPA and would be the agency’s top priority in 2016, according to Nakashima’s report.

The bureau told the publication that the proposed amendment to ECPA would not cover search engine queries and email content.

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