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    Coalition Letter: Support Due Process in Government Access to Emails

    FreedomWorks has signed onto the following coalition letter supporting the ECPA Amendments Act:

    The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy          The Honorable Charles Grassley
    Chairman                                           Ranking Member
    Senate Judiciary Committee               Senate Judiciary Committee

    Dear Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Grassley,

    We, the undersigned companies and organizations, are writing to express our support for Chairman Leahy’s and Sen. Lee’s ECPA Amendments Act, S. 607, which the Committee will consider shortly. The bill would update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to provide stronger protection to sensitive personal and proprietary communications stored in “the cloud.” We urge all Members of the Committee to support the bill.

    ECPA, which sets standards for government access to private communications, is critically important to businesses, government investigators and ordinary citizens. Though the law was forward-looking when enacted in 1986, technology has advanced dramatically and ECPA has been outpaced. Courts have issued inconsistent interpretations of the law, creating uncertainty for service providers, for law enforcement agencies, and for the hundreds of millions of Americans who use the Internet in their personal and professional lives. Moreover, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a provision of ECPA allowing the government to obtain a person’s email without a warrant is unconstitutional.

    The ECPA Amendments Act would update ECPA in one key respect, making it clear that, except in emergencies, or under other existing exceptions, the government must obtain a warrant in order to compel a service provider to disclose the content of emails, texts or other private material stored by the service provider on behalf of its users.

    This standard would create a more level playing field for technology. It would cure the constitutional defect identified by the Sixth Circuit. It would allow law enforcement officials to obtain electronic communications in all appropriate cases while protecting Americans’ constitutional rights. It would provide clarity and certainty to law enforcement agencies at all levels and to American businesses developing innovative new services and competing in a global marketplace. It would implement a core principle supported by Digital Due Process, www.digitaldueprocess.org, a broad coalition of companies, privacy groups, think tanks, and academics.

    For all these reasons, we strongly urge all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to support the ECPA Amendments Act, S. 607.

    Sincerely,

    Adobe
    Amazon
    American Association of Law Libraries
    American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
    American Civil Liberties Union
    American Library Association
    Americans for Tax Reform
    AOL
    Application Developers Alliance
    Association for Competitive Technology
    Association of Research Libraries
    Automattic Inc.
    Bill of Rights Defense Committee
    Blacknight
    Blekko
    Brennan Center for Justice
    BSA | The Software Alliance
    Center for Democracy & Technology
    Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights
    Center for National Security Studies
    Cheval Capital
    Competitive Enterprise Institute
    Computer & Communications Industry Association
    Consumer Data Industry Association
    The Constitution Project
    Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
    cPanel
    Data Foundry
    DemandProgress
    Direct Marketing Association
    Discovery Institute
    Distributed Computing Industry Association
    Digital Liberty
    Dropbox
    eBay
    EDUCAUSE
    Electronic Frontier Foundation
    Facebook
    Firehost
    FreedomWorks
    Foursquare
    GANDI.net
    GitHub
    Golden Frog
    Google
    Hackers & Founders
    Hedgehog Hosting
    Hewlett-Packard Company
    Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
    The Internet Association
    Internet Infrastructure Coalition
    Koston Consulting
    LaborVoices
    Lean Startup Circle
    LiveJournal
    Lesser Government
    Lookout Mobile Security
    Media Temple, Inc.
    Microsoft
    Misk.com
    Mozilla
    National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    Newspaper Association of America
    Open Society Policy Center
    Oracle
    Personal
    R Street Institute
    Records Preservation and Access Committee
    Rackspace
    Reddit
    Reed Elsevier Inc.
    salesforce.com
    ServInt
    A Small Orange
    Software & Information Industry Association
    SpamExperts
    SpiderOak
    Superb Internet
    Symantec
    TechAmerica
    TechFreedom
    TechNet
    TechStars
    Tumblr
    Twitter
    UK2Group
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce
    Wired Tree
    World Wide Web Hosting
    Yahoo!