Washington – The House Judiciary Committee has voted to favorably report long-awaited reforms to give improved privacy protections to individuals’ electronic communications. The Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699) would require the government to get a warrant before demanding companies turn over customers’ emails and other electronic communications. The bill was amended by a substitute amendment offered by Chairman Goodlatte.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association has advocated for modernization of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act for a decade and joined 50 civil rights groups, trade associations and companies in a letter today supporting the manager’s amendment to the Email Privacy Act. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“As more and more communications are now stored in the cloud, updating privacy laws for the digital age is essential. The bill the Committee approved today sets an important standard of protection — government access to email content should require a warrant.
“We appreciate Chairman Goodlatte bringing these reforms for a vote today and for preserving the essential elements of the underlying bill. Importantly, the warrant requirement in the bill does not include a carveout for civil agencies.
“We now urge leadership to bring the Email Privacy Act to a vote before the full House, and for the Senate to take up its companion reform legislation.”