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Senate lawmakers want to make it harder for law enforcement to access suspects’ emails and location data

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Senate lawmakers plan to restart their push tomorrow for new rules that would prevent U.S. law enforcement from seeking some suspects’ emails, location information and other sensitive data without first obtaining a warrant.

For years, Democrats and Republicans alike have harbored deep reservations with a gap in federal law that spares investigators from having to appear in front of a judge and demonstrate probable cause before they could obtain certain kinds of data. Those decades-old rules predate even companies like Google — and never anticipated the day that consumers would conduct much of their daily lives digitally.

Seeking to update the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, however, has long vexed Congress, where lawmakers have struggled to find the right balance between privacy and national security. But Republican Sen. Mike Lee and Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy haven’t given up, and this time, the duo plans to introduce a bill on Thursday that imposes new checks on law enforcement officials and their access to information, four sources confirmed.

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