Privacy Bill Passes Congress After Stripping out Email Safeguards
The updated version of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act included a provision that would require a search warrant in order for law enforcement agencies to obtain emails over 6 months old. When the original law was written, email volume was low and archiving was almost non-existent. Many privacy groups supported the new bill since the advent of cloud-based emails, backup servers and virtually unlimited email storage means that most emails continue to exist much longer than 6 months. The bill passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee in November but was stripped of the language which stipulated the use of a search warrant for older emails before passing through Congress.