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Cuban Calls for Electronic Communications Privacy Act Update

Add Mark Cuban to the list of those stumping for updating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to require a warrant for government access to email regardless of how, where and how long it has been stored.

The E-Mail Privacy Act, which was debated earlier this week in the House Judiciary Committee, would make that change to the 1986 law to reflect the way email is used and stored, argue its supporters, including Cuban.

In a letter to congressional leaders, a copy of which was obtained by B&C, the billionaire tech investor and chairman of AXS TV urged Congress to reject the entreaties of the Securities & Exchange Commission, which argues that, since the SEC can't seek a criminal warrant, if that became the standard it would not have sufficient authority to obtain important information, and that would encourage ponzi schemers and inside traders to be non-cooperative in document production.

Cuban said that, as the target of an SEC investigation himself, he knows firsthand what investigative tools they already have to obtain information, and doesn't think those are insufficient.

SEC called for tweaking the bill to insure it can still access information it needs from ISPs. Cuban says the SEC should not be allowed to do that and called for passage of both the EPA and the Senate Communications Privacy Act Amendments of 2015 bill, both of which would require a warrant for content, and without carve-outs for agencies like the SEC.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.