Modernizing the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)

The ACLU believes the following changes are needed to modernize ECPA:

1.Robustly Protect All Personal Electronic Information.

Current loopholes in our privacy laws must be closed to ensure that electronic information, including most transactional communications, receives full warrant protection regardless of their age or nature.

2.Safeguard Location Information.

Location as transmitted by my cell phone and other mobile devices is clearly personal information. Government officials should have to obtain a warrant based on probable cause before accessing it.

3.Institute Appropriate Oversight and Reporting Requirements.

Existing reporting requirements for wiretap orders must be extended to all types of law enforcement surveillance requests.

4.Require a Suppression Remedy.

The same rules should apply for electronic and non-electronic information: if it's illegally obtained, it should not be used against an individual in court.

5.Craft Reasonable Exceptions.

Records should only be viewed in a true emergency with informed consent and proper notice.

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