| Press Release | Washington, D.C.

Lou Mejia, Former Chief Litigation Counsel Of The SEC: “Despite Broad, Bipartisan Support In Congress To Reform ECPA, The SEC Is Standing In The Way”: “If Congress makes an exception to the Constitution for the SEC, this will only be the beginning of the assault on personal privacy. Other federal agencies such as the IRS will want the same exception, as will state agencies with comparable civil enforcement authority.” (Lou Mejia, “The SEC’s Curious View of The Constitution and Privacy rights,” The Hill, 7/8/15)

 

Mark Cuban, Investor and Businessman: “The SEC’s Position Is Inconsistent With Consumers’ Reasonable Expectation Of Privacy”: “As the target of an investigation, I know that the SEC has a broad array of tools at their disposal to obtain information directly from targets.” (Suzanne Barlyn and Sarah N. Lynch, “Investor Mark Cuban Slams SEC On Email Privacy Stance,” Reuters, 12/3/15)

 

Julie Brill, Former Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission (FTC): “The Costs – In Terms Of Privacy Protections For Consumers – Of Solidifying The Commission’s Authority To Obtain Content Through ECPA Is Real”: “Fundamentally, I believe that individuals’ privacy interests extend to what they store and send online. I simply am not convinced that a judicial mechanism enabling civil law enforcement agencies to order ECPA-covered providers to turn over content will provide the safeguards against government intrusion to which individuals are entitled.” (Julie Brill, Statement Submitted to Senate Judiciary Committee, 9/16/15)

 

Rep. Steven Scalise (R-LA): “The SEC, IRS, And Every Other Federal Agency Should Respect The Privacy Rights Of All Americans”: “[N]o agency should get a loophole to snoop through the emails of innocent Americans without following the traditional judicial process.” (Press Release, “Members Oppose SEC Power Grab on Emails,” 7/30/13)

 

Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS): “The Fourth Amendment Of The Constitution Requires The SEC To Get A Warrant To Read Postal Mail – Why Should It Be Any Different For Email?”: “If we carve out one civil agency, every civil agency would clamor for an exemption and email privacy reform would be rendered meaningless.” (Press Release, “Members Oppose SEC Power Grab on Emails,” 7/30/13)

 

Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA): “[T]he SEC Views Email Service Providers More Like A Witness Or Informant…”: “I find it highly disturbing in [the SEC’s] testimony today that seems to suggest that the SEC views email service providers more like a witness or informant that you should be able to tap directly as opposed to the digital home of intimate communications.” “So let me ask you this: if the SEC wants a box of documents sitting in a target’s home, can you use an administrative subpoena to bring a locksmith to their home to open the door, walk in and take documents?” (House Judiciary Committee Hearing on the Email Privacy Act, C-SPAN, 12/1/15)

 

Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA): “No Federal Agency Should Be Under The Illusion That Email Is Any Less Protected Than Regular Mail Or Other Methods Of Communication”: “I strongly oppose the SEC’s effort to sidestep the Fourth Amendment. No federal agency should be under the illusion that email is any less protected than regular mail or other methods of communication. It’s long past time to pass the Email Privacy Act and the Leahy-Lee bill, without carve outs, and eliminate the confusion about privacy rights that clearly exists in the Executive Branch.” (Rep. Tom Graves Press Release: “Members Oppose SEC Power Grab on Email Privacy,” 7/30/13)

 

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA): “[I]t’s Very Concerning From Some Issues Of Anecdotal Evidence And Real Evidence…Especially On The SEC Side”: “If you say it in your testimony, ‘Providers make the decision never to provide records in the absence of legal process no matter the circumstances.’ Now that’s a very direct statement against the business practices of Internet providers. Is it true? Is it not true? Do you have evidence or do you not have evidence?…Well I was told that there was a Santa Claus, but I found out real quickly there wasn’t.” (House Judiciary Committee Hearing on the Email Privacy Act, C-SPAN, 12/1/15)

 

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI): “The Leahy-Lee Bill Ensures That Federal Agencies Respect The Fourth Amendment’s Protection Of E-mails Stored In The Cloud”: “The Fourth Amendment cannot be disregarded just because some federal agencies find it ‘impractical’. I strongly urge Senators to expedite consideration of the Leahy-Lee bill and to reject agencies’ attempts to gut its important protections.” (Press Release, “Members Oppose SEC Power Grab on Emails,” 7/30/13)

 

Albert Gidari, The Center For Internet And Society, Stanford University: “The SEC Has Yet To Identify A Single Case Where They Declined To Investigate Or Enforce The Law Due To A Lack Of Access To Email”: “To the contrary, the agency touts its successful record of enforcement each year to Congress, never once identifying a case that they lost or failed to bring due to the lack of access to email.” (Albert Gidari, “The SEC Play For A Backdoor To Your Email,” 3/16/16)

 

Grover Norquist, Founder And President, Americans For Tax Reform (ATR): “The Securities and Exchange Commission Should Not Have A Carve-out From [Fourth Amendment] Protections”: “What [the SEC is] proposing to do is acquire the power of a warrant with the lower standards of proof needed to obtain a subpoena. The SEC actually wants to conflate the differences between civil and criminal investigations by requesting that Congress create a ‘civil warrant,’ which would give it almost unchecked authority to examine anything we store online — thousands of emails, financial records, calendars, diaries, photographs — anything. (Washington Times, “Saying no to the spooks at the SEC,” 7/30/13)

 

Letter To House Judiciary Committee From 21 Conservative Organizations, Including TechFreedom, Heritage Action for America, Americans for Tax Reform And FreedomWorks: “There Is No Need For A Carve-out”: “Administrative agencies can already serve a subpoena, enforceable in court, and demand production of relevant materials. The courts have regularly compelled individuals and companies to disclose their data and imposed sanctions those who don’t comply.” (Coalition Letter, 11/30/15)

 

Letter To The President From 80 Organizations, Associations And Companies, Including American Civil Liberties Union, Fight For The Future, And National Organization For Women: “The Only Major Impediment To [ECPA Reform] Is An Objection By Administrative Agencies Like The Securities And Exchange Commission”: “Such an agency carve out would be a major blow to reform efforts, allowing increased government access to our communications during the many civil investigations conducted by federal and state agencies.” (Coalition Letter, 4/28/14)

 

Nate Cardozo And April Glaser, Electronic Frontier Foundation: “Bills To Reform ECPA Have Gained Huge Bipartisan Support”: “The problem is that government agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission are asking for a special carve out permitting the agency to access email and data stored by Internet service providers without a warrant.  This exception, if granted, would completely undermine meaningful, and much needed, ECPA reform. (Nate Cardozo and April Glaser, It’s Time to Update Archaic Email Privacy Law, 12/4/13)

 

Demand Progress: “The Email Privacy Act Is The Most Popular Bill In The House, With 304 Cosponsors…”: “Despite saying for years that such legislation is a priority, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte has been a major hindrance in bringing the most popular bill in Congress to a vote — in no small measure because of the push from some agencies for provisions that could grant agencies like the SEC and IRS new, unnecessary warrantless snooping powers.” (Demand Progress, 12/1/15)

 

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI): “We should note the absence of a special carve-out from the warrant requirement for the civil agencies, like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service. In the House Judiciary Committee, we reached quick consensus that a civil carve-out of any kind is unworkable, unconstitutional, or both.” (House Floor Debate on passage of ECPA, 4/27/16)