Washington – The House approved the Email Privacy Act under a suspension of the rules Monday. The legislation, which passed with a voice vote, would enhance privacy protections to citizens’ email. The bill will now go on to the Senate for further consideration.

The bipartisan Email Privacy Act would clarify that Fourth Amendment protections extend to electronic communications and require the government to obtain a warrant based on probable cause before gaining access to citizens’ communications stored in the cloud. The bill updates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which was written over 30 years ago.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has advocated for modernization of ECPA for a decade. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“We applaud members of Congress for recognizing the need to clarify an important Constitutional protection for citizens in the digital age and expediting the passage of the Email Privacy Act. At a time when citizens’ private information and communications are usually stored online, these privacy protections are imperative—and long overdue. We now urge the Senate to take up and pass the Act.

“This sort of civil liberties issue is one that has long had bipartisan support. We hope this spirit of cooperation will enable Congress to build on this success to tackle other broader issues to ensure Americans’ civil liberties are protected.”

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