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Government Surveillance

Sen. Leahy Pledges Mark Up Action on ECPA Reform Bill

Washington–Today, Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT), the author of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, announced his intention to schedule a mark up this year of his bill to reform ECPA.  Although technology has rapidly advanced and outstripped the law, the privacy protections in ECPA have never been updated.  Leahy’s reform bill would include vital privacy “upgrades” for consumer’s communications and clarify legal standards law enforcement must meet to obtain this digital information.

Senior Counsel and Director of CDT’s Project on Freedom, Security and Technology Gregory T. Nojeim issued the following statement:

“As technology has advanced, the checks and balances limiting government surveillance have not kept pace; the changes proposed by Senator Leahy’s bill will provide important protections for today’s online communications.  Chief among those changes is the requirement that government agents must get a warrant from a judge before reading our private communications or using our cell phones to track our movements in real time.  CDT looks forward to working with Senator Leahy to ensure today’s digital communications get the privacy protections they deserve, and that are essential to the growth of new communications technologies.”