Electronic Communications reform has immense bipartisan support, including over 100 private organizations. In the 113th Congress, an Electronic Communications Privacy Reform Act (ECPA) bill introduced by Rep. Yoder (R- Kan.) and Rep. Polis (D-Colo.) had 273 cosponsors. A similar piece of legislation introduced by Sen. Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Lee (R-Utah) passed the Judiciary Committee, but never made it to the floor for a vote.
Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, discusses the immense support for ECPA reform in The Washington Times:
“In terms of popular support, more than 100 privacy and consumer groups, companies and trade associations have joined the Digital Due Process Coalition, which supports ECPA reform. As of November 2013, more than 100,000 Americans signed a White House Petition requesting ECPA reform; it has yet to be acknowledged.”
In a bipartisan article emphasizing the importance of ECPA reform, Sen. Leahy and Sen. Lee explain:
“The Constitution guarantees ‘the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.’ But that guarantee is at risk when the government can search and seize vast troves of our private e-mails, texts, and social-media posts without our knowledge or consent — and without a search warrant.”
On Digital Privacy Day, January 28, Director of Digital Liberty, Katie McAuliffe, and Gabe Rottman of the American Civil Liberties Union, remind Americans how important ECPA reform is in protecting our Fourth Amendment Rights:
“The purpose of ECPA was to protect our privacy. Technological innovations have now turned that protection on its head, making it a threat to our privacy instead. Its original intent must be restored. Government must live within the letter and spirit of the Fourth Amendment.”
President Reagan signed The Electronic Communications Privacy Act into law in 1986. In the nearly 30 years since, technology has evolved and advanced in ways no one could have projected. Although technology has advanced, the legislation protecting the privacy of electronic communications has not.