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Email Privacy Act Revision Could Add Better Protections

By May 9, 2016March 2nd, 2023Blog, Cybersecurity

email_privacy_act_revision_could_add_better_protectionsOn the heels of the FBI’s dustup with Apple Computer, the Judiciary committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has advanced a bill to the full chamber that would give cloud-stored data and emails more than 180 days old some much needed protection from law enforcement searches.

The new bill would update a 30-year old law called the ECPA (The Electronic Communications Privacy Act), requiring law enforcement agencies to get a court-ordered warrant in order to search through email archives and other cloud-based storage systems. Currently, only a subpoena is required, which does not require a judge’s review.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not the bill will pass through both Houses of Congress this close to an election year. It may be the case that we’ll have to wait until after the November election results before we see definitive movement on this.

Private security companies agree that this is a strong step in the right direction, and one that’s long overdue, though they are quick to point out that as good and important as this step is, the proposed changes don’t go far enough.

Regardless of what happens with the bill in the short term, it has a broad base of support among both Republicans and Democrats, and is almost certain to pass, if not before the election, then shortly afterward.

You can expect, however, that this battle is far from over. As the FBI demonstrated in their recent entanglement with Apple, they have a very different view on privacy, and the level of access that law enforcement agencies should have. The tensions between law enforcement and privacy advocates is bound to grow over time, with the FBI and other agencies seeing this as a setback for them, and the privacy advocates seeing the changes in the law as a good, if not a modest first step toward greater data protection.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.