Jacob Sullum on How Your Life Became an Open E-Book


In 1986 The American Banker defined E-mail as "a trademark of CompuServe," Computerworld noted that sending a single message required a 10-minute phone call, and InfoWorld described "a pilot scheme that will allow users of one system to send messages to mailbox holders on another." That was the year Congress enacted the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), so it is hardly surprising that the once forward-looking law seems antiquated today. In fact, says Jacob Sullum, ECPA is so out of date that it has left us vulnerable to government snooping in ways most Americans do not appreciate.