Senate Republicans rally behind expanding FBI’s online surveillance powers post-Orlando

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said lawmakers will vote this week on an amendment that would expand the FBI’s ability to conduct online surveillance and allow the bureau to compel internet companies for their customers’ browsing history and other records without a warrant.

Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said Monday the proposal would strengthen the ability for authorities to “connect the dots so we are better able to prevent terrorist attacks in the United States,” evoking specifically the mass shooting in Orlando this month that left 49 people dead and 53 injured.

The senator is pushing for an update to federal law that would broaden the FBI’s authority to use National Security Letters, or NSLs — a type of administrative subpoena that allows law enforcement to gather information such as telecommunication logs and financial records from private companies for investigative purposes.

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Washington Times
June 21, 2016