Bishop Supports Bill to Update Email Privacy
WASHINGTON – On Monday evening, the U.S. House passed the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 387) to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 with improved privacy protections for electronic communications stored or maintained by a third-party service provider. Congressman Mike Bishop (MI-08), a co-sponsor of the legislation and member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement in response:
“Most Americans would be shocked to know we currently operate under a 30-year old internet privacy law – from a time when social media, electronic payments and ‘the cloud’ were far from existence. Congress has an obligation to ensure our laws to meet the growing demands of our increasingly digital world, so I applaud the House for taking this step forward today.
“The Email Privacy Act strikes the right balance between safeguarding people’s privacy on the internet and allowing law enforcement to do its job. It provides law enforcement with the adequate tools they need to investigate online communications for criminal cases, without infringing upon citizens’ Fourth Amendment right. I applaud Congressman Yoder and the House Judiciary Committee for advancing this 21st century legislation.”
Under the Email Privacy Act, law enforcement seeking to obtain digital communication that is stored with a third-party service provider would need a warrant, regardless of the type of provider, the age of an email, or whether the email has been opened. The legislation also authorizes a court to require a date for return of service of the warrant.
For more information, visit the House Judiciary Committee website.