It’s Time for a Privacy Upgrade
The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is the law that specifies standards for government surveillance of our mobile phone and Internet communications. It was enacted in October 1986. In the 26 years since, technology has advanced at an astonishing pace, but the statute’s privacy rules haven’t been updated, resulting in diminished Constitutional rights when it comes to protections against government access to our personal data.
Under ECPA’s outdated standards, the government claims the power to track our location data using our mobile phones without obtaining a warrant. The government also argues that the Fourth Amendment’s search warrant requirement doesn’t apply to accessing much of our email or the documents we store in the cloud.
ECPA must be updated to provide strong privacy protections. The best way to do this is to ensure that government agents must get a warrant from a judge before tracking our movements or reading our private communications. Please join CDT and our Left/Right coalition of groups spanning political ideologies by telling Congress to update ECPA.