The Americans for Tax Reform, led by Grover Norquist, is teaming up with the American Civil Liberties Union to protect Internet communication from the “unreasonable searches and seizures” outlawed by the Fourth Amendment.
The government can violate your Internet privacy under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), Norquist and Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, write on Politico.
That law was written in 1986, when Internet communication was archaic compared to today.
“ECPA says that government agents can demand stored documents — even newer documents and documents still in draft — without a judge’s approval,” the two state.
“The government can contend ECPA gives it the authority to ignore your privacy to an extent that would have shocked the framers of the Constitution.”
Norquist and Murphy propose that government agencies should have to go to court for a search warrant if they want to look at e-mails, just as they would for postal mail and telephone calls.
“We do not intend our reforms in any way to impede investigations of terrorism or serious crimes such as child pornography,” the duo writes.
“We do not touch authorities for national security investigations and international terrorism. Our reforms focus on ordinary investigations, and all we are saying is that the warrant standard established by the Constitution for privacy in the physical world should also protect privacy in the digital world.”
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