ECPA

The state's landmark new law could show Washington how to protect civil liberties online.
Will the 114th Congress finally update the 1986 law that governs most of our electronic communications?
Barging into a foreign data center would be a major invasion of that country's sovereignty. Imagine the uproar if foreign police tried to a similar move in the United States.
When wearable computers can disprove what someone told police, you know you're living in a future that has arrived sooner than expected. According to LancasterOnline, a woman in Pennsylvania has been charged with knowingly filing a false report after forensic evidence and the data from her Fitbit undermined her claim of rape. This case should catalyze a national discussion about when and how suspects can or should disclose data from a wearable computing device.
Email, photos and documents we store electronically are not any less important to our personal and professional lives than the ones we keep on paper. Yet they are still held to different standards: Authorities need a warrant to search a file cabinet, but not your hard drive or email.
President Obama has still not responded to the 100,000+ Americans who signed the We the People petition demanding ECPA reform (it's been 152 days -- for comparison, a petition to build a Death Star got a response within 29 days.).
Blaming big tech companies for enabling our runaway surveillance state is like blaming Toyota or Ford for drunk drivers. It's a dangerous distraction, and it's the wrong strategy if we want to reform the system.
Without a public push, the email privacy legislation might not get full floor votes this year. The Senate bill, sponsored
This might come as a shock to you, but the privacy of many of your electronic communications has a six-month expiration date. That's because the law governing access to our online communications was written in 1986.
It's not known how widely the IRS has exercised its claimed power, since some email providers, like Google, have said they