Rep. Chu Statement on Passage of Email Privacy Act
Washington, DC – Today, the House unanimously passed H.R. 387, the Email Privacy Act. This bill updates the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act to prohibit providers of electronic communications, such as email service providers, from knowingly divulging to the government the contents of emails and other electronic communications held in storage. Law enforcement and other governmental entities will be required to obtain a warrant for any individual’s emails, and to notify persons whose emails are being sought within three days of getting a warrant and obtaining those emails. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), an original cosponsor of the bill, released the following statement:
“I am proud to have worked on the Email Privacy Act in a bipartisan fashion and to see it on its way to becoming law. This a commonsense measure to fix a current loophole in outdated laws that allowed law enforcement to access Americans’ emails without a warrant. While law enforcement should maintain the ability to investigate and access important digital information, there is no reason that email should be treated differently than other constitutionally protected property, like letters. This is a vote to reinforce the rule of law and to strengthen our civil rights, while creating greater accountability and clarity in law enforcement.
The text of H.R. 387, the Email Privacy Act, can be found here.