Daily Dashboard

Advocates: ECPA Was Not Made for the Internet Age

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

January 10, 2011

Internet companies and consumer advocates are warning that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is outdated, "affording more protection to letters in a file cabinet than e-mail on a server," The New York Times reports. With Internet services providing storage for e-mails, photographs, financial documents and a range of other private information, while law enforcement agencies may be sending out requests "for legitimate criminal investigations," some companies are calling for a requirement for search warrants approved by courts rather than subpoenas from prosecutors. Given that ECPA was drafted in 1986, before such widespread use of cell phones and e-mail, one expert notes, "The law can't be expected to keep up without amendments." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
Full Story