The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved reforms to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The updates, which still need to be passed by the full Senate and House, will more clearly extend 4th Amendment protections to the online world so that law enforcement will need to get a warrant before demanding email and other online information.

ECPA was written in 1986 before so much information about Americans was stored online. The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been advocating for updates to better protect privacy online in meetings on the Hill and alongside the Digital Due Process and the Vanishing Rights coalitions.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Updating our laws which protect vital constitutional rights in this era of technological change has been long overdue. CCIA is grateful to Chairman Leahy and other supporters of this legislation for beginning to move legislation ensuring that our emails, instant messages and social networking communications have the level of protection that is more on par with the principles of a robust 4th Amendment.

“CCIA also appreciates Senator Dianne Feinstein’s amendment that makes it easier for social media users to share information on their movie viewing habits while addressing privacy concerns.

“We hope the House introduces companion legislation this year and we look forward to working with the new House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who is a respected leader on technology and government surveillance issues.”

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