Democratic Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy, reshaped the bill in response to law enforcement concerns that the need for warrants to access digital data would impede on ongoing investigations.
The bill which now authorizes warrant-less access to American’s email accounts, Google documents, and Twitter Messages also allows over 20 federal agencies access to the data with only a subpoena issued by a judge based on probable cause, and delays the notification for customers for up to a year before being told their data has been accessed.
The bill was originally created to update a pair of 1980′s vintage surveillance laws. The Vermont Democrat had boasted about the bill claiming that it:
“provides enhanced privacy protections for American consumers by… requiring that the government obtain a search warrant.”