Technology Companies & Privacy Advocates Urge Senate Judiciary Committee To Support Digital

WASHINGTON (Wednesday, May 25, 2016) – One month after the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of bipartisan legislation to protect the texts, photographs and other information Americans store in the cloud, technology companies and privacy advocates are urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to quickly take up and pass the House-passed bill so that it can become law.   

The measure, to update the three-decade-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act, would ensure that Americans’ online communications receive the same protections as the physical papers in their filing cabinets.  The House bill, approved 419-0 last month, mirrors bipartisan legislation coauthored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), which is cosponsored by 30 Senators from both parties.  The legislation is poised for consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have called on Congress to pass the legislation, and organizations from the ACLU and Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Tax Reform, and Heritage Action support the measure.

“We have an historic opportunity to update our privacy laws for the digital age,” Leahy and Lee said Wednesday.  “It should go without saying that law enforcement agents should have to get a warrant to read Americans’ sensitive information in the cloud – yet that is not what our statutes currently require.  It is long past time to reassure the American people that their online communications are protected from warrantless searches.  We urge all Senators to support the House-passed bill.” 

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