Old law has been on the books since 1986
Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill today that would beef up the privacy of our emails. South Texas College of Law Professor Rocky Rhodes tells KTRH that as of now the police don’t have to jump through hoops to look through your email.
“All they need to do is approach Google or Yahoo! and if those emails are more than 180 days old and they have an administrative subpoena they cans search through those for any criminal or other purpose that they desire,” Rhodes said.
So what does Washington want to do about this?
Rhodes said, “The idea is that they would like to require that in all circumstances that law enforcement needs to get a warrant from a court before they cans search your email, no matter how long it’s been stored.
Washington is considering a new bill because the Electronic Communications Privacy Act has been law since 1986, long before we all had our own email accounts. Rhodes says the law is outdated and needs to change.
“Most people didn’t keep emails. A lot of people didn’t even have email accounts in 1986,” Rhodes explained. “And certainly we weren’t keeping emails then for more than 180 days.”
Rhodes says this is actually one issue that both Democrats and Republicans agree on. Both sides of the aisle think it’s a good idea to protect email privacy. It’s actually law enforcement that doesn’t want to see any changes.