House passes peek measure

Legislation allows authorities easier access to email, Net, phone logs

WASHINGTON — An anxious U.S. House of Representatives late Friday cleared emergency anti-terrorism legislation that would, among other things, make it easier for the government to peek at cable modem and cable phone records.

The measure is nearly identical to legislation approved earlier by the Senate. In general, both versions give law enforcement authorities easier access to email, Internet and phone logs.

Cablers posed no resistance to the provision giving the government a 90-day grace period to review a customer’s Internet and phone usage without the customer knowing. The anti-terrorism legislation does not cover video programming.

Under the measure approved by the House, the amped-up investigative authority would expire after five years.

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