California Senator Mark Leno has introduced a new legislation to protect citizens’ email privacy. Senate Bill 467 would raise the legal requirements for State law enforcement agencies before they can snoop into a private citizen’s emails. It is already backed by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
Current Federal legislations, that is the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), emails that were read by the recipient or have been stored in a server for 180 days can be summoned by the government. Representative Zoe Lofgren, along with other members of the congress, is leading a drive to reform the federal law.
However, Senator Leno wants to beat the Federal Government in reforming citizens’ digital privacy. This is reiterated in a statement by EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury. “California, the home of many technology companies, should be a leader in protecting the privacy of people’s electronic communications,” Fakhoury said.
If the bill passes then “No law enforcement agency could obtain someone’s mail or letters that were delivered to their home without first securing a search warrant, but that same protection is surprisingly not extended to our digital life,” said Senator Leno.
The bill is also supported by the ACLU of California.