WASHINGTON (April 25, 2013) – The R Street Institute today commended the Senate Judiciary Committee for reporting out the most significant update to U.S. electronic privacy law in the past quarter century.

Under S. 607, sponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, Fourth Amendment protections codified by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 are extended to email and other information stored in “the cloud.” Current law does not require law enforcement or regulators to obtain a warrant to access electronic communications that are more than six months old.

“We are very encouraged that this legislation was passed on voice vote and without any significant weakening amendments,” said R Street Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann. “We are hopeful the House Judiciary Committee also will take on the issue in short order and that leadership can swiftly move to bring these bills to the floor.”

R Street is a member of the Digital Due Process coalition, a broad collection of businesses, associations and institutions united in the belief that federal electronic privacy law must be updated to reflect changes in technology. Earlier this week, coalition members wrote to Leahy and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, to express their support for the bill.

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