Legislation reintroduced in the House this week would protect American privacy by eliminating a loophole that allows law enforcement agencies to rifle through your old emails without obtaining a warrant.
The Email Privacy Act introduced by Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder and Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis would provide much needed updates to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.
Currently, law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. are able to search through emails without a warrant as long as they are more than 180 days old by requesting the contents of the emails from third-party providers like Google, Apple and Yahoo.
“This session, Congress needs to close this loophole and extend fundamental privacy protections to electronic communications,” said the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kate Tummarello.
The bill passed handily in the House when it was introduced last year, but a Senate version became stalled because of the introduction of amendments that gutted its effectiveness.
One of the main opponents of the original bill was the Securities and Exchange Commission, which argued that the legislation would hamper financial regulators ability to gather information for investigations because it’s harder for them to obtain warrants.