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Government Surveillance

Campaign Launches to Reform Digital Privacy Law

WASHINGTON — Today, CDT joins with groups across the political spectrum—including EFF, TechFreedom, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Fight for the Future, and Demand Progress—to launch a campaign to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The campaign site is

ECPA, which sets the standards for when government can access our private digital information, hasn’t been updated since 1986.

The government maintains that under ECPA, stored email, information in the cloud, and location information generated by our mobile phones does not receive full Fourth Amendment protection, meaning the government can access this information without a warrant.

“It’s time Congress updated ECPA to make clear our digital communications receive the same Constitutional protections as postal mail and phone calls,” said Mark Stanley, CDT Campaign and Communications Strategist.

Next week, the Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to vote on amendments to ECPA that would require the government to obtain a warrant before accessing the content of digital communications.