Leahy Drops Surveillance Proposal

The senator took heavy fire from civil liberties groups


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.