The Email Privacy Act, a persistent attempt to update the antiquated U.S. electronic privacy law, has returned to Capitol Hill for the third time since 2013.
The bill aims to amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986, which created a legislative framework that impacts internet communications to this day.
Amongst the provisions of the 1986 law is one which allows government agencies to obtain the electronic communications of U.S. citizens without a warrant, so long as the sought-after communications are at least 180 days old. The Email Privacy Act would change the rules and require those agencies to obtain a warrant, a process which requires more judicial oversight.
"Up until recently, most businesses were looking at privacy and data security from the perspective of protecting sensitive information from bad actors, not the government," said Jacob Ginsberg, senior director at Echoworx. "Most businesses have turned a blind eye, and that is a problem.
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