Senate panel approves bill requiring police to get a warrant to read emails

Image: Gwen's River City Images/Flickr A key Senate panel approved…

Email Check - DILO4
Image: Gwen’s River City Images/Flickr

A key Senate panel approved legislation Thursday that would require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge before they can read a private citizen’s emails, Facebook messages or other electronic communications.

The revised Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee will now move on to the full Senate for a vote. Passage would be a victory for privacy advocates, who say current privacy rules have been left in the dust by technological progress.
Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who played a key role in drafting the original bill, has called the existing law, written 26 years ago, “anachronistic.”

Leahy said that Americans “face even greater threats to their digital privacy, as we witness the explosion of new technologies and the expansion of the government’s surveillance powers.”

The revised law will make it more difficult for the government to access the content of a consumer’s emails and private files from Google, Yahoo and other Internet providers.

Read the rest of Perry Chiaramonte’s report at Fox News.

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