Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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ECPA Turns 28 Today

ECPA Turns 28 Today
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Representatives Yoder and Polis Talk ECPA Reform



Why America Needs ECPA Reform



Online Privacy Rights in 1986 vs. 2013


We've come a long way since 1986, but our nation's digital privacy laws haven't kept pace. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) has not been updated in nearly three decades. Watch this video to learn more about the need for ECPA reform!

Our Mission

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.

Recent News

  • White House silent on privacy debate

    Nuala O’Connor, The Hill, December 12, 2014

    Here's an interesting question. What do Jimmy Kimmel, the Death Star, major league baseball and home brewing all have in common? The White House has responded to public petitions dealing with each of these subject matters.

  • TechnoCRAT - Friday Q&A: CDT's Chris Calabrese

    Anne L. Kim, Roll Call, October 31, 2014

    Tech companies and public interest groups have been calling for an update of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). Technocrat talked with Chris Calabrese, who previously worked at the American Civil Liberties Union lobbying on privacy issues and now is senior policy director the Center for Democracy & Technology, about the details of the law.

  • Digital 4th Coalition Calls For ECPA Reform as Law Hits 28th Anniversary

    Press Release, October 21, 2014

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today marks the 28th anniversary of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) becoming law and existing as the standard for online privacy rights in the United States. On the law’s 28th birthday, the Digital 4th coalition is calling on Congress to update ECPA and establish reforms that affirm Fourth Amendment protections extend into the digital space. By reforming ECPA, the government would be required to get a warrant in most cases to access Americans’ private online information.

  • Tech Community and Privacy Groups Call on Congressional Leaders to Pass ECPA Reform

    Press Release, September 10, 2014

    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. In Riley v. California, the Court decided unanimously that Americans' privacy is a priority and the government¹s access to cell phones is permitted only with a warrant issued by a judge.

  • Tech giants demand vote on email privacy bill

    Julian Hattem, The Hill, September 10, 2014

    Google, Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo and scores of other technology titans are demanding congressional leaders allow a vote on a bill to grant new privacy protections to people’s ema

  • Local Choice yanked from STAVRA - Net neutrality slowdown gets rolling - Scoop: Google, Facebook, Twitter and more double down on ECPA push

    Erin Mershon, Politico, September 10, 2014

    Nearly every major tech company is signing on to two new letters pushing both House and Senate leadership to bring their chambers' ECPA reform bills to the floor. Many of them have already backed the reform efforts, which would update one of the nation's arcane email privacy laws.