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As one of our more than 6.7 million FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and senators today and ask them to support Electronic Communications Privacy Amendments Act. Introduced by Congressmen Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and by Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) the ECPA Amendments Act (H.R. 699 and S. 356) is an important defense of Americans’ right to privacy in the digital age.
The Electronics Communication Act (ECPA) was passed in 1986, before electronic communication and storage had emerged as a dominant force in modern life. As such, it could not have foreseen the vast amount of sensitive information now stored digitally. As times change, legislation must be kept up to date in order to ensure that the continued liberty of the people against excessive government intrusion not be abridged due to gaps and ambiguities in previous laws.
As it stands, ECPA allows federal agencies to search – without a warrant – Americans’ stored emails and other digital communications that are over 180 days old. Americans have the explicit right under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution to feel secure that their physical property will not be compromised without due process – the same should apply to their digital property. Additionally, the Fourth Amendment clearly protects against unreasonable search and seizure, and requires probable cause for the issuing of warrants.
For this reason, we urge you to voice your support for the Email Privacy Act, a common sense bill with strong bipartisan backing. The Email Privacy Act is a critical step in keeping government out of the private lives of its citizens, and it is our hope that you will ask your representatives and senators to co-sponsor and otherwise support the bill if they have not already done so.
Matt Kibbe President and CEO, FreedomWorks