Reform ECPA and Expand Privacy Rights to the Internet
Privacy rights should not stop online. Our mission at Digital 4th is to extend Fourth Amendment rights to the digital age by updating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). Private communications online need to be protected, just as they are when they occur through the mail or over the phone. Tracking a cell phone’s location over time should require a warrant, just like tracking a vehicle by attaching a GPS device does. By reforming ECPA, we can ensure all private communications and documents stored online receive the same protections from unreasonable search and seizure as information locally stored.
Digital 4th - a privacy coalition comprised of Americans for Tax Reform, American Civil Liberties Union, Heritage Action for America and the Center for Democracy & Technology - reacted to the Supreme Court's ruling that police must obtain a warrant before searching mobile devices.
Every time the 4th of July comes around, we reflect on what is truly American. Fireworks, baseball games and apple pie are important traditions, but this year the Fourth Amendment should be added to the list.
Our Founding Fathers adopted the Declaration of Independence in order to create a nation where its people would have rights to freedom, liberty and privacy.
Send an email and store it in the cloud. Post a picture privately to your Facebook friends or digitally archive financial records. If you think these are protected from snooping government eyes, think again.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Digital 4th coalition released the following statement regarding the Email Privacy Act reaching 218 co-sponsors, a critical number in the House of Representatives because it means a majority of members support the legislation. Lead sponsors, Reps. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) and Jared Polis (D-CO), are joined by more than half of their colleagues in calling for updating the antiquated Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). As currently written, ECPA says that government officials can access Americans’ private online communications, such as emails and social media accounts, without a warrant from a judge.
When the framers drafted the Constitution, Americans' privacy rights were of great importance and necessary in establishing protections for the people. However, as technology has advanced exponentially, our government has fallen short of upholding and extending those privacy protections to the digital space.