| Press Release | Washington D.C.

Washington Post: “Over 100,000 People Have Signed Onto A WethePeople Petition Asking President Obama To Support Changes To ECPA.”  “Over 100,000 people have signed onto a WethePeople petition asking President Obama to support changes in a 27-year-old privacy law called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The law, which was written in 1986, and long before Gmail and Facebook, allows the seizing of e-mail and other digital communications without a warrant. Critics say it doesn’t provide enough privacy protections for online communications.” (Brian Fung, “This White House Petition on Internet Privacy Now Requires a Response,” Washington Post, 12/12/13)


The Hill: “A Petition Calling For Stronger Privacy Protections For Emails And Other Online Communications Has Passed The Threshold Required For A White House Response.” “A petition calling for stronger privacy protections for emails and other online communications has passed the threshold required for a White House response. The petition on the White House website calls for an update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to require police to obtain a warrant before accessing online communications. The law, passed in 1986, currently only requires that police obtain a subpoena (which does not require a judge’s approval) to force Internet providers to turn over emails that have been opened or that are more than 180 days old.” (Brendan Sasso, “White House Must Respond to Email Privacy Petition,” The Hill, 12/12/13)

R Street: “We’ll Be Eagerly Awaiting The Official White House Response.”
“Early Thursday morning, with just hours remaining before the cutoff, a WhiteHouse.gov We the People petition to reform ECPA (Electronic Communications Privacy Act) and update privacy laws to protect online communications and data passed the threshold of 100,000 signatures. We’ll be eagerly awaiting the official White House response.” (Zach Graves, “ECPA Reform Campaign Will Get Official White House Response,” R Street, 12/12/13)

The Internet Association
: “The Time For ECPA Reform Is Now.”
“The time for ECPA reform is now. Reaching 100,000 signatures to meet the White House petition threshold indicates that users want and expect 4th Amendment privacy protections for their personal information stored in cloud-based servers and web-based email servers as they do for their personal documents and effects stored in the offline world.  We look forward to the White House’s official response on this important issue.” (“Statement on ECPA White House Petition Surpassing 100,000 Signatures,” The Internet Association, 12/12/13)

: “This Victory Means That The White House Is Now Required To Write A Response.”
“The We the People petition to reform ECPA and end warrantless email searches just received its 100,000th signature! In addition to being a stunning demonstration of Americans’ concern for their privacy rights, this victory means that the White House is now required to write a response.” (Sam Tracy, “Petition to Reform ECPA passes 100,000 signatures, requiring the White House to Respond,” TechFreedom, 12/12/13)

Berin Szoka, President of TechFreedom: “Today Marks The Beginning Of The End Of Law Enforcement’s Ability To Read Americans’ Emails Without A Warrant.”
“Today marks the beginning of the end of law enforcement’s ability to read Americans’ emails without a warrant. With growing support for reform in both parties, a clear expression of support from the Administration should be all it takes to finally pass ECPA reform. That victory will be the first towards a longer fight to limit law enforcement’s ability to track our mobile devices and to rein in unconstitutional surveillance by national security agencies.” (“ECPA White House Petition Surpasses 100,000 Signatures,” PR Newswire, 12/12/13)

Holmes Wilson, Co-founder of Fight for the Future: “Today Is A Historic Step Toward Restoring Sanity To The Laws That Protect Our Privacy…”
“The NSA scandal and backlash has proven that Americans value their privacy a lot more than the government thought. What most people don’t know, though, is that local law enforcement agencies and huge bureaucracies like the IRS have been prying into their email and text messages for years. Today is a historic step toward restoring sanity to the laws that protect our privacy — which by definition are the laws that protect our democracy.” (“ECPA White House Petition Surpasses 100,000 Signatures,” PR Newswire, 12/12/13)

Greg Nojeim, Senior Counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT): “The Public Showed They Want A Clean ECPA Reform Bill, Without Special Carve Outs For Regulatory Agencies.”
“ECPA reform is catching fire. Behind these 100,000 signatures are dozens of groups from the left and right committed to this issue. We explained to the public that regulatory agencies like the SEC want access to email without a warrant. The public showed they want a clean ECPA reform bill, without special carve outs for regulatory agencies.” (“ECPA White House Petition Surpasses 100,000 Signatures,” PR Newswire, 12/12/13)

Katie McAuliffe, Federal Affairs Manager at Americans for Tax Reform (ATR): “The Success Of The Petition … Demonstrates The Intense Level Of Concern Regarding Our Outdated Online Privacy Laws.”
“In the last month, we’ve seen an incredible surge in support for ECPA reform. Tens of thousands of Americans joined together in calling on the Administration to keep the government out of our private online communications by updating ECPA. The success of the petition and outpouring of support for reform through social media channels demonstrates the intense level of concern regarding our outdated online privacy laws. Congress and the Administration should show they respect Americans’ privacy by passing ECPA reform now, without any loopholes for federal agencies.” (“ECPA White House Petition Surpasses 100,000 Signatures,” PR Newswire, 12/12/13)

Christopher Calabrese, Legislative Counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union: “It’s Time The Law Caught Up To A World Where People Overwhelmingly Communicate Electronically.”
“It isn’t surprising that over 100,000 people are demanding their electronic privacy once they found out their communications weren’t adequately protected. We urge President Obama to publicly support ECPA reform and require police to get a warrant in all cases before accessing the contents of our electronic communications stored with service providers. It’s time the law caught up to a world where people overwhelmingly communicate electronically.” (“ECPA White House Petition Surpasses 100,000 Signatures,” PR Newswire, 12/12/13)