Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the widely supported, broadly bipartisan Email Privacy Act, making this the second consecutive year that this common-sense update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) has passed the House. The bill makes a critical update to existing digital privacy laws that clarifies that law enforcement must obtain a warrant—except in certain clearly defined emergencies—before accessing an individual's electronic communications.
"The laws governing law enforcement access to private electronic communications are woefully in need of an update. The digital landscape has grown and evolved since ECPA was first passed in 1986, and the law has not kept pace with technological advances,” said Engine Executive Director, Evan Engstrom. “The Email Privacy Act is a common-sense update to privacy law, applying to electronic communications the same constitutional protections afforded to physical objects. We hope this is the year that privacy law finally comes out of the digital dark ages. We encourage the Senate to take up and pass the bill without any weakening amendments as quickly as possible.”