The Electronic Communications Privacy Act - Are Your Emails and Cloud Documents Protected?

Americans for Tax Reform and the American Civil Liberties Union published a joint editorial in The Hill's Congress Blog regarding the Electronic Communications Privact Act (ECPA).  Both organizations are members of the Digital Due Process Coalition, a wide-ranging group of privacy advocates, think tanks and businesses, like Microsoft, Google, Apple, AT&T, that often disagree on different issues. However, we can agree on consistent privacy protection for digital documents.

Below is an excerpt from the blog.  Please click here for the full article. To contact your Senator regarding this issue visit vanishing rights to voice your opinion.

Today, if the police want to come into your house and take your personal letters, they need a warrant. If they want to read those same letters saved on Google or Yahoo they don’t. The Fourth Amendment has eroded online. ...

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will reexamine an amendment to H.R. 2471 put forth by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that requires a warrant to collect data from a technology companies and individuals. This is the kind of measure all committee members should be able to support without reservation.

We believe email and information stored in the cloud should have the same legal protection as letters or information held by an individual in their home.  This is clear, consistent, reasonable privacy protection for the digital age.

It is our hope and expectation that all committee members will oppose any weakening amendments and vote to report the bill with Senator Leahy’s warrant for content standards intact.

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