Bill would force cops to get a warrant before reading your e-mail

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Last fall we wrote about how easy it probably was for the FBI to get the e-mails it needed to bring down CIA chief David Petraeus over allegations of infidelity. Under the ancient Electronic Communications Privacy Act, passed in 1986, the police can often obtain the contents of private e-mails without getting a warrant from a judge. A bipartisan group of legislators has introduced a bill to the House of Representatives to change that. The bill would require the police to get warrants before reading users’ e-mails in most circumstances and would also repudiate the view, advanced by the Obama administration last year, that the police can obtain information about the historical location of your cell phone without a warrant. The new legislation , proposed by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and supported by Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA), would extend privacy protections for both e-mail and location privacy. “Fourth Amendment protections don’t stop at the Internet,” Lofgren said in an e-mailed statement. “Establishing a warrant standard for government access to cloud and geolocation provides Americans with the privacy protections they expect, and would enable service providers to foster greater trust with their users and international trading partners.” Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Bill would force cops to get a warrant before reading your e-mail

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