New Electronic Privacy Bills Would Buttress 4th Amendment Protections For Online Communications

BY Heather Greenfield
February 4, 2015

Washington — Americans deserve privacy for their email!  The long-awaited Email Privacy Act is being reintroduced today in both the House and Senate. The legislation aims to reform existing laws to require the government to obtain a warrant before gaining access to email and other electronic communications.

This House legislative effort led by Congressmen Kevin Yoder and Jared Polis updates the outdated Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.  More than half the members of the House are co-sponsors.  A companion bill from Senators Mike Lee and Patrick Leahy is also being reintroduced in the Senate, and its language mirrors that of the House bill.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association continues to be an advocate for limits on government access to personal communications. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“As more communications take place online than imagined nearly 30 years ago, it is imperative that Congress move swiftly to enact these updates to protect the privacy of all citizens.  Both the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution embody core  principles that safeguard our freedom and democracy. Digital communications and content stored in the cloud must receive the same protection as physical papers and effects.

“To maintain a functioning democracy, we need adequate safeguards before the government is able to access the personal communications of the public. These bills protect the public while preserving legal tools to conduct criminal investigations.

“Ensuring public trust in the sanctity of their communications is essential.  Without public trust, the Internet cannot reach its full potential as a communications and commercial platform.

“We commend the work that went into gathering such strong bipartisan and bicameral coordination. We are encouraged that with this strong support, our outdated digital privacy laws will finally be updated this year.”

Related Articles

Senate Commerce Hearing On Privacy; CCIA Welcomes Push To Fund FTC, Pass Privacy Legislation

Sep 29, 2021

Washington — The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing today on consumer privacy with Chairwoman Maria Cantwell focusing on the need to pass baseline federal privacy and to ensure the FTC has adequate resources to address privacy. Ahead of the hearing, the Computer & Communications Industry Association sent a letter to committee leaders expressing appreciation…

Industry Groups Urge Protection of Fundamental Principles and Rights in the Digital Services Act

Jul 9, 2021

Brussels, BELGIUM — The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) today joined other industry organizations in a joint statement asking EU Member States to respect the fundamental principles of the e-Commerce Directive during the negotiations of the Digital Services Act (DSA)  The signatories support an ambitious DSA and its objectives to protect consumers and their…

CCIA Statement on the Enactment of the Colorado Privacy Act

Jul 8, 2021

Washington – Governor Jared Polis has signed the Colorado Privacy Act into law, making Colorado the third U.S. state to enact comprehensive consumer privacy legislation. New rules are set to take effect July 1, 2023. The Computer & Communications Industry Association welcomes Colorado lawmakers’ successful efforts to enact new rights and protections for consumer privacy.…