I'm happy to report that our focus and efforts to insure Constitutional protections for electronic data have been successful.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending my first Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Business Meeting. This meeting was being held to discuss markup's or modifications to the existing ECPA or Electronics Communications Privacy Act. This Act, established in 1986, is in dire need of revision to keep up with the rapidly changing footprint of today's digital age.
Now, there are many different aspects of the ECPA and I will not bore you with all of them. The part of the reform amendment that the I2Coalition and Hedgehog Hosting specifically wanted to garner support for was to require the government to obtain warrants to access all types of electronic communications, including e-mail, regardless of whether or not they are "in use" or "in storage."
Here is a portion of the statement from the I2C that was sent to Congress this week.
"This provision (the markup that we were supporting) would establish consistent privacy protections regarding how information may be accessed by law enforcement. Information, regardless of whether it is in transit, received or in storage, should be afforded the same privacy protection. Further, a strict warrant requirement for accessing contents of electronic communications regardless of whether or not they are in storage will create a clear rule, allowing easier and more consistent compliance by providers and law enforcement."
- From the I2C's letter to the Senate Committee on Jurisdiction.
Now some of this may still seem to be political talk, so in a nutshell, here is what Hedgehog Hosting and the I2C are trying to urge our elected officials to remember. If there is to be ANY proposed revision to the ANY current legislation, it should ensure that traditional constitutional guarantees of due process are upheld. The fourth amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring a warrant supported by probable cause. In the end, requiring a government entity to obtain a warrant for the disclosure of electronic communications is not only common sense, but it is also a constitutional guarantee.
I sat with colleagues from the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) and from the CDT (Center for Democracy and Technology) in the Dirksen Senate Office Building and watched these measures pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. This is a historic step toward the major privacy law update we need and we at Hedgehog Hosting will continue to support the Internet Infrastructure Coalition as they help pave the way for more ground-breaking work on behalf of the industry that provides so much for so many of us each day.
For your convenience, the following PDFs are available for download. Please contact Richard Feller via telephone at (703) 218-4170 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for any additional information.Overview Services Testimonials