U.S. House Approves E-Mail Bill
USA Today is reporting that the U.S. House Committee approves a bill regarding e-mail. It passed 28-0. It is dubbed as the Email Privacy Act.
The bill is aiming to replace a law made in 1986 that allowed use of emails by the government that were 6 months or older. The bill if approved, would require a warrant for any data stored in the cloud regardless of when it was sent.
ARS Technica added that the bill still has a long road ahead. If has to reach the house floor and then the senate floor. If each stage was approved, then the President would have to sign off on it.
Privacy advocates and tech companies have been pressing for the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to be updated dating by at least six years (PC World, 2016) It’s easily understandable that these companies and advocates would like to update a bill that is 30 years old.
Currently police would need a subpoena to demand files stored in the cloud for longer than 180 days. If this new bill was to be approved, then even this data would require a warrant. It would please the privacy advocates, but strain the government if they had to go through more channels to obtain stored data.
The bill could be overlooked until 2017 with the upcoming Presidential election, but it is worth following. If passed, then this could lead to more laws being looked at that were created early into mainstream computer usage.
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