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Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends,
it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,
and to institute new Government

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

The Fourth Amendment’s Digital Update

From The Daily Caller:
The Fourth Amendment has protected our right to privacy since its ratification in 1791. The text of the amendment reads, “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,” but how well do these protections hold up in the digital age? 
Today, most of us are typing emails on our laptops, not scribbling a letter with a quill and inkwell. Therefore, it’s important to ensure our sensitive, digital communications are well-protected. 
Clearly, the Fourth Amendment transcends time and technological change, but some sinister players are pretending otherwise. Currently, under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the United States federal government may seize any citizens’ private email communications without a warrant, provided they are over 180 days old. 
By law, these older emails are not considered privy to a reasonable expectation of privacy under the ECPA’s Section 2703(a). Even worse, the ECPA was enacted in 1986, years before email usage was even widespread. 
However, the 180-day rule doesn’t just apply to emails—every American’s texts, GroupMe chats, and Facebook messages are fair game too. 
It’s time to modernize the Fourth Amendment to protect our online communications, and bipartisan The Email Privacy Act, re-introduced by Reps. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) and Jared Polis (D-CO), does just that. Namely, the Email Privacy Act would require all government agencies to acquire a warrant before accessing any online communications over 180 days old—just like any other private documents. 
In the era of cloud technology, communications could be stored on enormous server, conceivably forever. More and more, our sensitive financial, relational, and personal details exist online, making their security absolutely essential. The ECPA is problematic in other areas as well.
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posted by Pastorius at permanent link#


Blogger Always On Watch said...

the Email Privacy Act would require all government agencies to acquire a warrant before accessing any online communications over 180 days old

Sounds good to me, but I don't see it happening. There is too much opportunity for rake-off (gubmint contracts) so as to monitor all our digital communications.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017 3:34:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Yes, I think you are exactly right, AOW.

Our government is working in VIOLENT opposition to the Will of the People.

VIOLENT, becasue they are willing to use police force, and do, when they want to violate our rights.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017 1:05:00 am  

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