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Blog

California Helps Pave the Way for Digital Privacy Reform

As attempts to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) are continually stalled out in Washington, California took the initiative, and Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed a new bill into law last week. CalECPA or S.B. 178 greatly strengthens state privacy standards compared to federal requirements under ECPA. Most importantly, the legislation mandates that state authorities must obtain a warrant to access any private emails, regardless of age. This is a notable change from the previous standard, which allowed authorities access to the same content without a warrant as long as the emails were dated past 180 days. Additionally, the bill would also require California authorities to obtain a warrant not only for emails, but for digital records, texts, and a user’s geographical location as well. Even further, the protections provided in this bill would be applied to online storage services in addition to electronic devices.

10/14/2015
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Blog

ECPA Reform is a Continued Necessity

On Wednesday, September 16, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held another important hearing to discuss reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, more specifically in regard to S.356, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2015. This proposed amendment, which was introduced to the Senate in February by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), has somehow been continually ignored despite attracting 22 cosponsors in the Senate and almost 300 cosponsors in the House, enough for a comfortable supermajority.

09/30/2015
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Blog

Passing the USA Freedom Act: A Difficult First Act in the Great Surveillance Debate

After sometimes-dramatic and often-tense several weeks, the USA Freedom Act finally passed the Senate. The act’s passage brings the government’s telephone data surveillance program under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act back from its brief retirement, but with reforms that stop its worst abuses. Although the USA Freedom Act was certainly not the level of reform that many had hoped for, it passage nevertheless sent a clear signal that the days of Congress simply rubber-stamping endless surveillance programs are over.

06/03/2015
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Matt Kibbe's Response to the NSA - Phone Smash

05/20/2015
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Blog

Tell Your Representative: Support the End Warrantless Surveillance of Americans Act

As one of our more than 6.9 million FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the End Warrantless Surveillance of Americans Act, H.R. 2233. Introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Thomas Massie (R-KY), this bill would take huge strides towards curtailing the government’s ability to access to Americans’ electronic communications without a warrant.

05/07/2015
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Blog

Tell Your Members of Congress: Support Email Privacy

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.

02/04/2015
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Press Release

FreedomWorks Activists Send 5K+ Messages to Support New Email Privacy Bill

A bipartisan group of legislators introduced a bill to protect email privacy today in the House and Senate. FreedomWorks activists sent over 5,000 messages to Congress prior to the bill’s release, urging their representatives to cosponsor this important piece of legislation.

02/04/2015
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Blog

“Sneak and Peek” Warrants Are Abused by Law Enforcement

Section 213 of the PATRIOT Act creates what is known as “sneak and peek” warrant. Law enforcement is authorized to conduct a search without first notifying the subject of the search. After 9/11, law enforcement insisted that this measure was necessary to investigate and prevent future terrorist attacks “without tipping off the terrorists.”

12/18/2014
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Liberty Beats "The Right To Be Left Alone"

08/18/2014
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Blog

Passing the USA Freedom Act: Everybody Wins

Last week, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) re-introduced a bill to protect Americans from unauthorized government spying, the USA Freedom Act (S. 2685). After the House passed a dangerously watered-down version of the bill earlier this year, the new Senate bill represents a compromise - much stronger than the House bill, though not as comprehensive as privacy activists might desire.

08/04/2014

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