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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Good news on PRIVACY!

This is something we need. A new bill proposes that we apply our basic Fourth Amendment privacy rights to email, because right now, your email is unprotected. Here is the actual bill. And here is the EFF on email privacy:
It's time for Congress to follow the Sixth Circuit's lead and update one of the main online privacy laws—the Electronic Privacy Communications Act (ECPA). In the past, the Department of Justice has used the archaic law to obtain private online communications without obtaining a probable cause warrant as the Fourth Amendment requires.
The ECPA goes back to the 80s. It's an antique.
ECPA must be updated because the government has used the law to obtain private online messages—like personal email accounts or our social media messages—older than 180 days without a probable cause warrant. The government would have to obtain a warrant if those same messages were printed out on your desk. This difference shouldn't exist. By cosponsoring The Email Privacy Act, the government can no longer neglect the fact that Fourth Amendment protections do not whither with age.
If you want to tell your representatives to get behind this bill, go here or here.

The EPCA has bipartisan support. Of course, it is only one step -- albeit a necessary step -- to the restoration of our privacy rights.

Another important new proposal is the Online Communications and Geolocation Protection Act. This too has bipartisan support. Basically, this says that the government cannot track your location using your cell phones without first getting a warrant. This is particularly important because iphones do not allow you to remove the battery, and battery removal is the only way to turn off GPS tracking.

This bill was introduced last year and got stalled in committee. We need to get it out of the mire of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, And Investigations.

Tell 'em to GET A WARRANT. Requiring a warrant will not endanger our safety. Right now, a lot of people are more scared of the government than of the terrorists.


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