Photo: Jeremy Jenum via flickr
A Senate panel approved a landmark privacy bill Thursday that would require police to get a search warrant before viewing Americans’ e-mails, private Facebook posts, and other electronic data, Declan McCullagh of CNET reports.The bill, an updated version of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, would refer to any files stored in the cloud.
Several high-profile technology firms — including Apple, Google, Facebook, and Twitter — urged Congress to provide Americans the same privacy rights for electronic files that they have for actual papers in their homes.
McCullagh previously reported that an earlier version of the bill actually gave government agencies more surveillance power than they currently possess by granting more than 22 federal agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission — warrantless access to the Americans’ electronic communications.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) abandoned that draft after an online petition against it received 8,000 signatures.
The bill will now go to the Senate floor for a vote, which will probably be next year.
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