The Email Privacy Act unanimously passes the House.
April 29 2016On Wednesday the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Email Privacy Act, which would update the decades-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). Under the bill passed this week, law enforcement would need to obtain a search warrant in order to access emails or other digital communications that are more than 180 days old. Though the bill’s future in the Senate remains unclear, it’s likely that the unanimous vote, along with the 315 cosponsors in the House, will put pressure on the Senate to approve it. Privacy advocates hailed the vote as a historic success, even if not a perfect win. The Electronic Frontier Foundation lamented, for example, that the new law “doesn’t require the government to notify users when it seeks their online data from service providers, a vital safeguard ensuring users can obtain legal counsel to fight for their rights.”