SIIA thanks Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) for introducing a bill today to update the antiquated Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and protect Americans’ online privacy in today’s networked world.
The bill would level the playing field for “cloud computing,” by ensuring that electronic correspondence stored remotely with an Internet company in the “cloud” receives the same level of protection afforded letters, photos and other private material stored in a drawer or filing cabinet, or on a computer at home.
ECPA was enacted 27 years ago with good intentions, but the world of communications and computing is a different place today. In 1986, there was no such thing as email, and Americans had not yet begun storing personal information online. Congress must make passing ECPA reform a priority this year, so that Americans can trust that their private online information is protected from overzealous law enforcement intrusion.
Requiring law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before obtaining Americans’ email and other private online communications is critical to bring U.S. law into the 21st Century. SIIA urges the House and Senate to expeditiously enact this legislation.
Laura Greenback is Communications Director at SIIA. Follow the SIIA Public Policy team at @SIIAPolicy.