The House and Senate are expected to reconcile and pass anti-terrorism
legislation this week that will allow cable subscribers' phone and data records
to be searched without notifying them.
This changes a law that requires cable operators to notify subscribers if
officials want to check their records, but the change only applies to phone and
data information, and not to video selections.
Cable-industry sources said the bill was not controversial because it put
cable operators in an awkward position when law-enforcement authorities came to
them with subpoenas to search subscriber records.
According to the Cable Act of 1984, cable operators are required to first
notify subscribers before granting officials access to their records, even if
officials show subpoenas.
Last Thursday, the Senate passed by a 96-1 vote its version of the bill, the
Uniting and Strengthening America (USA) Act.
The House passed by a 337-79 vote its version Friday, the Provide Appropriate
Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (PATRIOT)