Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the widely supported, broadly bipartisan Email Privacy Act by a unanimous vote of 419-0. The bill would make long overdue updates to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to bring our digital privacy laws into the 21st century. Specifically, the bill would clarify that law enforcement must obtain a warrant—except in certain clearly defined emergencies—before accessing individuals’ electronic communications.
“The startup community has long advocated for commonsense reforms to our nation’s electronic privacy laws. 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. “We had a big win last year when California passed state-level reforms to ECPA, but today’s historic passage of the Email Privacy Act by the House is an even bigger victory. It represents an important step towards modernizing our nation’s privacy laws, and we hope that the unanimous support from the House encourages the Senate to take up and pass the bill without any weakening amendments as quickly as possible.”
Read our statement in response to the House Judiciary Committee’s unanimous passage of the Email Privacy Act earlier this month here.
Read the coalition letter we signed onto in support of the Email Privacy Act here.