…as we all said it would. Majority Leader McConnell wants to amend the USA PATRIOT Act (possibly the most ridiculous legislative acronym ever) to make it worse.
There is a portion of the Act, Section 215, which authorizes the FBI to seize “any tangible thing” relating to the subject of an investigation, without a warrant. Mitch’s legislation would expand the definition of tangible things to include web browsing history. I don’t think I need to drone on about how this is very bad.
Senator Wyden (D-OR), consistently one of the best on this issue, filed an amendment that would have excluded browser history. It failed 59-37. Notably absent from the vote were Senators Sanders and Murray. Feinstein, Manchin, the rest of the usual suspects, and also Kaine for some reason voted no.
Well there’s one quite glaring absence who certainly would have put this over the top pic.twitter.com/3TYVWhtfMC
— Jim Newell (@jim_newell) May 13, 2020
Sanders and Murray better have damn good excuses, because this is not a power that any Attorney General–to say nothing of Barr–should have. Section 215 is a travesty; expanding it is unconscionable. Shame on everybody in the Democratic caucus who opposed this amendment, or didn’t bother to show up and vote.