Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young shared the following statement after House passage of H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act:
“The last time our email privacy laws were updated the world was a very different place. Google wouldn’t be created for another 13 years, most Americans wouldn’t use text messaging for another 15, and Facebook wouldn’t exist for another 20. The date was October 21, 1985.
“While I’m the first to admit that I prefer more tradition forms of communication, I understand the need to bring our email privacy laws into the 21st century – not only to keep pace with changing technologies but to ensure our laws protect the constitutional rights of Americans. Because these laws were written long before the regular use of the internet or email, they currently contain glaring holes – giving the government the ability to access emails and other digital communication 180 days old or older without a warrant.
“Today, the House took an important step in fixing this violation of privacy by passing legislation I cosponsored, the Email Privacy Act. This bill ensures our electronic communication laws contain important 4th Amendment protections and our law enforcement agencies follow uniform warrant standards when conduction criminal investigations.”