Senate Republicans are planning a renewed push in the wake of the Orlando massacre to expand the FBIs warrantless surveillance powers in terrorism investigations.
Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, pointed to a longstanding request by the FBI to expand the scope of electronic records — such as web browsing history — agents could sweep up from companies in terrorism investigations without obtaining a court order.
“They could go and get additional information, like metadata, who hes e-mailing, the websites hes accessing. Not content,” Cornyn told reporters Monday.
The fatal mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, has the potential to shift the battle lines over surveillance. Many Democrats and some conservative Republicans had been leery of granting additional authority to law enforcement to access technology without court involvement, but the rise of “lone-wolf” terrorist attacks in the U.S. could change the political calculus.
But they’re not democrats, so they’ll only use the increased power for good.