Senate rejects proposal to bar warrantless searches of internet activity

The Senate on Wednesday narrowly rejected a bipartisan amendment to surveillance laws that would have prevented warrantless searches of internet activity and browsing history.

The proposal, introduced by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), fell one vote shy of the three-fifths majority it needed to pass.

“Should law-abiding Americans have to worry about their government looking over their shoulders from the moment they wake up in the morning and turn on their computers to when they go to bed at night?” Wyden asked. “I believe the answer is no.”

The 37 no-votes were cast by both Republicans and Democrats, while four senators didn’t vote. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), one of 10 Democrats who voted no, said he was concerned that passing the amendment would effectively kill the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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