Not Without A Warrant

The law protecting your 4th Amendment online rights against unreasonable search and seizure of emails, geolocation, and other data stored in the "cloud" or with a third party was written in 1986, well before the Web as we know it came to be. Fortunately, two bills have been introduced in Congress to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), but we need your help to urge Congress to pass needed reforms.

The ECPA Amendments Act (S.1011) would protect your information stored remotely or in the “cloud” (such as web-based email or file storage) from unreasonable government search and seizure. The Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act (S. 1212/H.R. 2168) would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant to track your cell phone or GPS device.

First, go to to sign a petition started by a large and bipartisan group of organizations. The petition reads:

The government should be required to go to a judge and get a warrant before it can read our email, access private photographs and documents we store online, or track our location using our mobile phones. Please support legislation that would update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) to require warrants for this sensitive information and to require the government to report publicly on the use of its surveillance powers.

Then, make sure to visit our take action page to write you Senators and Representative urging them to pass these needed reforms.