FBI Wants to Bypass Warrants to Access Internet Browser Histories of Terrorism, Spy Suspects

computer-photoBy Steve Neavling

The FBI wants the authority to access Internet browser histories and other electronic data of terrorism and spy cases without a warrant.

The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration supported a similar measure six years ago but abandoned the idea amid concerns from privacy advocates and the tech industry.

Some lawmakers support the effort and are encouraging colleagues to approve legislation that would enable the FBI to obtain “electronic communication transactional records” using a national security letter, which can be issued by the special agent in charge of the bureau field office.

FBI Director James Comey characterized the effort as the biggest legislative priority of the year.

Not having the authority to authorize national security letters “affects our work in a very, very big and practical way,” Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee in February.

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