WASHINGTON, D.C. — Digital 4th – a coalition comprising the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Tax Reform, Center for Democracy & Technology and Heritage Action for America – released the following statement ahead of the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).
“Today’s hearing is an important opportunity to discuss updating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The law that governs email privacy was enacted nearly three decades ago. The Email Privacy Act, introduced by Rep. Kevin Yoder and Rep. Jared Polis, seeks to modernize the law for the 21st century by requiring the government to get a search warrant before reading our emails or access other private communications online.
“The bill has more than 300 co-sponsors, which is more than two-thirds of the entire House. It is the top co-sponsored bill in Congress and has broad support across the country as well. A recent poll conducted by Vox Populi Polling found that 84% of Americans support ECPA reform.
“It is unfortunate that civil agencies like the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) are holding up ECPA reform by claiming they be exempt from the warrant requirement. We call on members of the House Judiciary Committee to stand up to the SEC and other government agencies in their quest to weaken reform.
“It is also important to point out that ECPA does not affect terrorism or national security investigations. In fact, the Email Privacy Act was carefully crafted to exempt any terrorism-related legal authority, which is instead governed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and is untouched by ECPA reform.
“We hope the House Judiciary Committee will pass the Email Privacy Act without delay.”