WASHINGTON, DC — Today Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the ECPA Modernization Act of 2017. This bipartisan bill protects electronic communications and geolocation information stored in the “cloud” or otherwise held by third parties from being accessed by law enforcement without a warrant. It also requires law enforcement to notify users within ten days of obtaining their communications or/and location data. These two reforms have been the top priorities of the Digital Due Process Coalition, launched in March 2010. Email privacy reform has long stalled in the Senate, after passing the House unanimously in this Congress and the last. Geolocation reform has not moved in either chamber.
“Americans have waited long enough for comprehensive warrant protections,” said TechFreedom President Berin Szóka. “In the absence of reform, states like California have filled the void in safeguarding both the content of Americans’ messages, and their location data, from warrantless searches. While the House bill left out geolocation protection and notice requirements in anticipation of Senate resistance, today’s bill restores both of those critical reforms. There’s no better or easier way for Congress and the Administration to secure a win for privacy and technology than passing this bill into law.”
We can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org. See our other work on ECPA reform, including:
- Our statement on the reintroduction of the Email Privacy Act in 2017
- Our statement on the passage of the 2016 Email Privacy Act in the House
- Tech Policy Podcast #94: Email Privacy in an Emergency
- TechFreedom president Berin Szóka’s blog post on the need to move forward with both email privacy and geolocation privacy in ECPA reform