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Murky Laws on Gov’t Access Put Onus on Companies

ONLINE PRIVACY—U.S.

November 16, 2012

On the heels of Google’s Transparency Report showing increased requests from governments for access to online data, ReadWrite reports that citizens’ “privacy protections are weakening as a result of Congress’ failure to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA),” adding, this puts private companies in the “privacy protector” role. The Wall Street Journal quotes Google's senior counsel as saying “ECPA provisions no longer reflect the way people use the services or the reasonable expectations they have about government access to information they store in the cloud.” The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a markup on November 29 on legislation that would require police to obtain a warrant before accessing electronic communications.
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