Senate Moves Toward Making Your Electronic Documents Safer From Police Prying


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The Senate Judiciary Committee voted today to send the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act on to the full Senate for consideration. As The Hill explains:

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation on Thursday that would require police to obtain a warrant before accessing emails, Facebook messages and other private online content.

The bill, which is sponsored by Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), was approved on a voice vote and now heads to the Senate floor.

Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986, police only need a subpoena, issued without a judge's approval, to read emails that have been opened or that are more than 180 days old.

Additionally, PC World reports:

"Americans are very concerned about unwarranted intrusions into our private lives in cyberspace," said Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and main sponsor of the bill. "There's no question that if [police] want to go into your house and go through your files and drawers, they're going to need a search warrant. If you've got the same files in the cloud, you ought to have the same sense of privacy."

Well, yes.

It's a good day when confidentiality wins out over the constabulary. Both Houses of Congress need to approve this legislation as quickly as possible.

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  1. Sigh, what good will this do when the Justice department simply tells the telecoms that they’ll be exempt from prosecution if they play ball and give access without a warrant and that there’ll be extra scrutiny if they don’t?

  2. Wait, Leahy is co-sponsoring? I smell a rat.

    1. Lets see the text and find out.

      With a simple twist of a phrase you can invert the actual meaning of a sentence while making it look at a casual glance to have not changed. Especially in a language like legalese.

  3. “Americans are very concerned about unwarranted intrusions into our private lives in cyberspace,” said Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and main sponsor of the bill.

    Except, of course, when IP is maybe possibly in the mix.

  4. Don’t worry, I’m sure there will be thousands of exemptions to be handed out so that this law ultimately does nothing close to what it says it should do, and still screws over the common folk.

    1. Hey, that’s what legislation is for, dude.

  5. don’t hold your breath on being protected from govt intrusion of your privacy.

    All your datas are belong to us.

  6. OT: I don’t know if anyone has posted this yet. Police raid wrong house, and kill the resident. But it’s okay, the Chief says it wasn’t the cops’ fault.

    1. Nice link.

    2. You SF’d the link.

      Real Link

      1. It worked in the preview. I blame the Sciurus.

  7. This just means that the police will continue to do it anyway, and if you can afford something better than a public pretender you might get the evidence suppressed.

  8. Jessica Alba is still hot.…..orter.html

    ‘She kept pestering me to let her hit me in the face’: Fred Stoller on his ‘miserable’ one-night stand with Kathy Griffin…..iffin.html

    1. Jessica Alba suffers for beauty, commenters hate because bitches be hatin’:

      Is anybody else appalled a woman would wear 2 corsets to get to a shape society deems acceptable?!! There are loads of complimentary comments – the woman physically restricted her body to get skinny! What sort of example is this setting to young women and even her two girls?!! And then she tries telling “natural” goods…? I’m disgusted
      – Just another procrastinator

      Pics or GTFO

      I’m sorry but this woman does not have a “deeper intellectual side,” she’s a vacuous, empty-headed pseudo-actress who is by all means harmless, but vain and conceited as well.
      – battleship188

      Bank statements or GTFO.

      1. Got off of work an hour early and picked up some SN Ruthless Rye at the local store, the fat lady in front of me in line was eyeing a tabloid with a story about Kim Kardasian’ s pregnancy misery on the cover. She turns to me and says, ‘ 210 lbs? That ugly bitch is fatter than I am!’
        I say, ‘it’s all about what’s on the inside.’ Voice oozing with sarcasm, so I thought.
        She responds while head pointing to the cover, ‘ no it isn’ t! ‘

  9. Nice, finally something FOR the people!

  10. Good for Leahy. I’ll cross his name off my over the top shit list and put him on the common place vendetta one.

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