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Wed Apr 13, 2016, 11:56 AM

Long-stalled email privacy bill advances in Congress

Source: Reuters

Technology | Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:31pm EDT

Long-stalled email privacy bill advances in Congress


Legislation that would require law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before asking technology companies to hand over dated emails unanimously moved forward in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, although its prospects for becoming law this year remain uncertain.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 28-0 to approve the Email Privacy Act, which would update a decades-old federal law to require federal authorities obtain a search warrant to access emails or other digital communications that are more than 180 days old.

Currently, law enforcement and civil agencies can ask a service provider to turn over such aged private communications with only a subpoena, which is subject to less judicial oversight than a warrant.

Prior to Wednesday’s vote the bill had gained sponsorship from 315 of a possible 435 House lawmakers, making it the most supported bill in the chamber to not earn a vote.

More than a quarter of the Senate has endorsed similar legislation, including John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the chamber, and it is widely supported by the technology industry and privacy advocates.

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Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-emails-idUSKCN0XA1VK

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