Rep. Ben Ray Luján
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., announced today that he has joined in a bipartisan effort to update and improve privacy protections for electronic communications.
Luján and more than 230 members of the House introduced legislation to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which has not been updated since 1986 despite substantial changes in technology.
“In the nearly 30 years since ECPA was written we have seen amazing technological progress that has brought us new tools to communicate. Yet in that time, our laws have not kept up with these changes,” Luján said. “From cloud computing to smartphones, many of the technologies that are part of our daily lives did not even exist. It is long past time to update ECPA to reflect the developments in technology and to ensure the American people have important privacy protections.”
The Electronic Communications Privacy Amendments Act of 2015 requires the government to get a search warrant based on a showing of probable cause in order to access email and other data in the cloud. It replaces the “180-day rule” which has been used to gain warrantless access to emails that are on a server for more than 180 days. The legislation protects privacy while also preserving the legal tools necessary to conduct criminal investigations.