Senate Rejects Fourth Amendment Protection for Emails, Texts

Senate Rejects Fourth Amendment Protection for Emails, Texts | 79-12 vote spurns call for warrants for surveillance

Introduced by Sens. Rand Paul (R – KY) and Mike Lee (R – UT), the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, an attempted amendment to the 2012 FISA Reauthorization Act, has failed in dramatic fashion, with 79 votes against and only 12 in favor.

The amendment was aimed at covering up a loophole which allows the US to spy on emails and text messages, insisting such surveillance could only come with a warrant from a judge.

Paul argued that the law should treat email and text messages exactly the same as phone calls, saying each deserved identical protection. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D – CA), who led the opposition, insisted that the amendment would keep security forces from stopping terrorism.

Another amendment, which didn’t explicitly curb surveillance but instead sought to make the Attorney General go public on certain types of surveillance decisions, also failed 54-37.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of

  • Goldenhawk

    Wow, this is great. We have a government that overwhelmingly agrees that spying on us is fine because we might be terrorists! Big Brother is knocking at our door. The Answer to1984 is 1776!!

    • paulBass

      in 1776 there were less than 4 million non native people in the colonies
      1/4 of them were slaves
      that is less than half the population of Nyc
      so take comfort in know the same amount of people continue to enjoy there freedom
      or petition for the congress to increased it's membership from 435 to about 10,000.
      the point being a few thousand people living in a few scattered towns along the north east did not come up with a system of government for ruling over a continent with hundreds of millions of people.

      • survivor

        depends on what your definition of freedom is? I guess if you like being spied on without a warrant which is required under the 4th amendment then I suppose that is your definition of being free. I love the irony of Feinstein. She wants the state to be able to spy on everyone without a warrant and she wants to strip americans of their 2nd amendment right. Tyranny comes with being a liberal as well.

      • Goldenhawk

        Nothing you said makes any sense. The idea here is about the overthrow of Big Brother with a revolt. You know, a M-E-T-A-P-H-O-R. I do believe you are missing some big essentials about our Constitution. It has nothing to do with population counts. Suddenly the rules no longer apply because we have grown? If I had to guess, I'd say you went through the outstanding Public School system in America today. If this sounds like an insult, well it is.

  • RickR30

    So much for upholding the constitution? Is it not possible to impeach these 79 sphincters, mic zombies?

  • MoT

    Well if it's OK for them to snoop on us then we should have open records of all personal email, etc. from Feinstein and the rest of those back stabbing rats. C'mon WikiLeaks! Where in the hell are those millions of documents you've been sitting on all these years?!

  • Alex Putros

    Diane Feinstein….NO!
    Rand Paul in favor of Freedom and Feinstein in favor of Government Oppression…?!?!?!?
    What are we coming to?

    • Goldenhawk

      We are coming to the exposed truth about who the Fascists really are. It's not the Tea Party folks who stand for liberty. It is the Liberals who stand for Collective Control!!!!

  • pendulum

    members of the senate and congress are, of course, subject to the same rules?????