Yesterday, the Email Privacy Act (H.R.1852) reached a major milestone: formal support from a bipartisan majority of House member—that’s 218 of the 435 members of the House, including a “majority of the majority” with 136 Republicans and 82 Democrats signing on as sponsors of the legislation.
At a time when there is little agreement in Washington, this stands out as a bipartisan priority to level the playing field for protection of electronic communications.
Updating this law is a position also recently endorsed by the White House, established as a priority recommendation in its recent Big Data Report to “ensure the standard of protection for online, digital content is consistent with that afforded in the physical world—including by removing archaic distinctions between e-mail left unread or over a certain age.”
The Email Privacy Act gives members of Congress an opportunity to advance critical privacy legislation by enacting this simple, meaningful and broadly supported privacy reform, which would require government agents to obtain warrants from a judge in order to force service providers to disclose the private email and documents they store online for their customers.
SIIA today is calling on the House to work with all deliberate speed to pass this bipartisan priority legislation.
David LeDuc is Senior Director, Public Policy at SIIA. He focuses on e-commerce, privacy, cyber security, cloud computing, open standards, e-government and information policy. Follow the SIIA public policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPolicy.