Today, the House Judiciary Committee Chairman announced that the Committee plans to markup the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699), which would reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) has long advocated for reform of the outdated legislation and welcomes the action.
Today the European Commission outlined an EU-US agreement on a framework for transatlantic data flows – the “Privacy Shield”. The agreement is intended to replace the Safe Harbor agreement, struck down by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in October 2015. The text of the agreement was not released and is not expected to be released for several weeks. CDT offers our initial thoughts.
A coalition of close to 60 advocacy organizations and CDT, is calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protect the privacy rights of broadband consumers and commence a rulemaking process on this issue immediately. With the reclassification of broadband as Title II common carrier service, the FCC now has more enforcement capability around privacy.
Washington Post: Gregory Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology, a Washington-based privacy group, said allowing Britain to go to U.S. firms directly with wiretap orders “would be a sea change in current law. I don’t see Congress going down that road.”
Christian Science Monitor: The deal would introduce the idea of “essential equivalence” between how privacy laws are interpreted and applied in the EU and in the US, said Chris Calabrese, vice president for policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a tech advocacy group in Washington. But it does not eliminate the government’s authority to force American firms to disclose data under the aegis of counter-terrorism. And that could be a problem from the EU Court of Justice’s point of view, said Mr. Calabrese.
Associated Press: “Absent reform of U.S. surveillance law, it is highly unlikely that the Privacy Shield agreement will be deemed sufficient by the (European) Court of Justice,” said Jens-Henrik Jeppesen, director of European affairs. He called on the U.S. Congress to swiftly move to reform its surveillance law and for EU member states to narrow their own surveillance laws and practices to also be more aligned with international human rights norms.