At a time when many question if such a divided Congress can accomplish anything, the problem of domestic email snooping is something that both sides can agree on. The Electronic Communications Protections Act (ECPA) was originally created to ensure our privacy with the upcoming digital advancements in communications in the mid-eighties when it was originally crafted. Understandably, lawmakers had no idea that online communication and data storage would be at the levels they are today. Since December over 100,000 Americans have signed an official White House petition demanding that this outdated law must be changed so government agencies can no longer go through your email without a warrant. There is yet to be a response.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) have introduced a Bill that would reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). Representatives Kevin Yoder(R-KS) and Tom Graves (R-GA) have introduced the Email Privacy Act which also aims to bring similar reform to the ECPA.
Addressing the urgency and importance of this reform, Digital Liberty’s Katie McAuliffe said that ECPA reform is low hanging fruit. Further public support is crucial but getting this reform accomplished means so much more than its initial implications. Most of what people complain about on the news regarding privacy has to do with NSA spying allegations on citizens but nothing like that can even be approached if we cannot deal with making the ECPA more aligned with the times.