Surveillance

Leahy Drops Surveillance Proposal

The senator took heavy fire from civil liberties groups

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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 today on Twitter that he would "not support such an exception" for warrantless access. The remarks came a few hours after a CNET article was published this morning that disclosed the existence of the measure.

A vote on the proposal in the Senate Judiciary committee, which Leahy chairs, is scheduled for next Thursday. The amendments were due to be glued onto a substitute (PDF) to H.R. 2471, which the House of Representatives already has approved.