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Senate Judiciary Passes Electronic Privacy Update

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed an update of the
Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) on Thursday, according to the
American Civil Liberties Union, which called it "an important gain for

The legislation, introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy
(D-Vt.), updates the ECPA, passed 25 years ago, to require law enforcement to
get a search warrant to access emails, social network posts and other info
stored in the cloud.

"We are very happy that the committee voted that all
electronic content like emails, photos and other communications held by
companies like Google and Facebook should be protected with a search
warrant," said ACLU legislative counsel Chris Calabrese. "We believe law
enforcement should use the same standard to search your inbox that they do to
search your home."

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.