House Passes Email Privacy Act

House Passes Email Privacy Act

By John Eggerton |

The House Monday unanimously passed the E-mail Privacy Act.

A version of the bill, which boosts protections of information stored in the cloud, passed the House unanimously in the last session of Congress in April and supporters were hoping for clean passage in the Senate as well, but it was held over by the Senate Judiciary Committee after amendments were offered that could have undone a compromise approach.

The baseline bill updates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to require the government to get a probable cause criminal warrant to access emails, social media posts and other online content stored in the cloud by internet service providers and other email service providers, like Google. In a nod to the longevity of cloud storage, it eliminates the 180-day sunset on stored communications. Previously a warrant was not required for communications stored beyond 180 days.

“If the government wants to read your emails, then they should be required to obtain a warrant just like they would need in order to read your letters, search your hard drive or listen in on your phone calls,” said bill backer Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) …read more…