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February 6, 2017

Email Privacy Act Could Pass As Early As Monday

IPI expert referenced: Tom Giovanetti | In The News | Media Hit
  Washington Internet Daily

Some prominent House lawmakers and industry representatives are betting on the Email Privacy Act, which would close a loophole and improve people's privacy protections, passing as early as Monday.

Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., the bill sponsor, said in a statement he looks forward to "another successful vote," while House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement that Americans "deserve fundamental protections when they email or use other forms of electronic communication.

This piece of the Innovation Initiative strikes a proper balance between our rights and our security, which is why I've scheduled it for a vote in the House on Monday." The House last week added HR-387 to the suspension calendar (see 1702020071). The bill, which unanimously passed that chamber last year, would update the 30-year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act by requiring law enforcement to get a warrant to access emails that are more than 180 days old and stored in a third-party server.

Institute for Policy Innovation President Tom Giovanetti in a Friday statement called it a "slam dunk" for President Donald Trump and Congress. "This legislation has nothing to do with preventing or prosecuting terrorism, but rather simply corrects lack of foresight in legislation passed 30 years ago, long before digital data became such a pervasive part of normal life," he said.

Computer & Communications Industry Association President Ed Black said in a statement that updating the law is overdue: "Now that personal information and communication are usually stored online, it is imperative to extend the Constitutional protections from government intrusion letters and other paper documents have to email."


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