For the last few months, we’ve closely watched the progress of a bill in Congress seeking to reform and update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. We’ve discussed the current law’s outdated regulations of our communications infrastructure, but a piece of that could be updated very quickly through Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder and Colorado Congressman Jared Polis’ Email Privacy Act. Essentially, as we’ve noted before, law enforcement currently doesn’t currently need a warrant to read your email--leaving many startups in the unenviable position of not being able to protect their customers. We think this is wrong, and it turns out a bunch of our elected representatives agree.
Less than a month ago, we noted that the bill had reached 218 co-sponsors, fully half of the House of Representatives, and which, let’s face it, is a monumental achievement with such a divided Congress, and a testament to ECPA reform’s popularity. With this week’s announcement that six more Republican co-sponsors are signing on, that number has now ballooned to 235 and is threatening to climb even higher.
Even as we creep closer and closer to mid-term elections, there are certain things Congress can still do while it’s in session. The Email Privacy Act, which would drastically enhance both privacy and security for Internet users and bring our laws into the 21st Century, is a great example of the “art of the possible” and we encourage the House to listen to itself and pass this much-needed reform swiftly.