U.S. Representative Jared Polis

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Senate Judiciary Committee to Vote on Email Privacy Act

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Washington, May 25, 2016 | comments

Washington, D.C., May 25, 2016: - The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2015 (S. 356) on Thursday.  The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 2015 is the Senate-version of the Email Privacy Act, which was co-authored by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and passed by the House of Representative unanimously on April 27, 2016. 

The Email Privacy Act would update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to require all government agencies to secure a warrant to search Americans’ online communications, regardless of when the email was crafted.  In 1986, Congress passed ECPA, which contains a loophole that allows the government to search any email older than 180 days stored on a third-party server such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail without a warrant.

“Through the Email Privacy Act, the House of Representatives unanimously agreed that the government should not be able to search through your old emails without a warrant,” Rep. Polis said. “While I’m excited for the Senate Judiciary Committee to approve its version of the Email Privacy Act, I urge them to move the bill forward without any amendments that undermine the principles of the bill so that it can be signed into law. The public shouldn’t have to wait any longer for our basic Fourth Amendment privacy protections to be applied to their emails.”



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