On Data Privacy Day, members of the Digital 4th coalition are relaunching their efforts to fight for Americans’ online privacy rights. The coalition, made up of the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Tax Reform, Center for Democracy & Technology and Heritage Action for America, is working to strengthen privacy protections for all Americans online by reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). With the renewed effort, Digital 4th also revamped its website: www.digital4th.org.
Last Congress, ECPA reform had strong bipartisan support. In the House, Representatives Kevin Yoder and Jared Polis introduced the Email Privacy Act, which garnered the support of 272 co-sponsors. In the Senate, Senators Pat Leahy and Mike Lee introduced the ECPA Amendments Act, which received backing from both Republicans and Democrats and passed unanimously through the Judiciary Committee.
“Our digital privacy laws haven’t been updated in almost 29 years, making ECPA reform more important now than ever before. Digital 4th is excited to build on the momentum from last Congress and work to ensure protections for Americans’ personal online communications. We look forward to working with Members of Congress, tech companies and other privacy groups to update ECPA for the technology of today and tomorrow,” said Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America and a member of Digital 4th.
“There’s a focus in Washington right now on bipartisanship. Given the significant support for ECPA reform – from the ACLU to ATR – there is no reason why Congress shouldn’t address this issue right away. Our Constitutional rights should not stop online. We’re going to continue working to make sure ECPA reform becomes a reality in the 114th Congress,” said Chris Calabrese, Senior Policy Director at the Center for Democracy & Technology and a member of Digital 4th.
ECPA sets the standard for government access to Americans’ online communications and as currently written opens the door to unwarranted government intrusion. Reforming the law would ensure Americans’ 4th amendment rights are strengthened on the Internet and protects citizens from government snooping.