Justice: Email snooping law no longer makes sense

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Tuesday dropped its support for a controversial provision in a federal law that allows police to review some private emails without a warrant, but it asked Congress to expand its surveillance powers in other ways.

The testimony by a top Obama administration lawyer before a House subcommittee was met with cautious optimism by privacy advocates and civil liberties groups who have worked for years to overturn parts of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act. They said it provides a starting point for a compromise in a debate that has endured for more than a decade.