Congressman John Shimkus, who represents the local 15th Congressional District, voted Wednesday to require that government and law enforcement officials obtain a warrant before accessing American citizens’ electronic communications.
“Under current law, the government can access any emails that are more than six months old without a warrant,” Shimkus explained. “I think most Americans would be surprised by that, so I am pleased to see the House taking action to protect the privacy rights of law-abiding citizens.”
Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), law enforcement officials may access emails older than six months with only a subpoena. The bill would amend the ECPA to require a warrant to obtain those records from third-party service providers.