Access to customer information from Internet infrastructure providers should follow due process of law.
In some instances, law enforcement agencies have a legitimate need to access personal online data—but government access to data must be preceded by due process procedures set out in the 4th Amendment in regards to search and seizure.
United States law is clear on the privacy of phone calls and other non-digital communications: government officials and agencies need a search warrant based on probable cause to gain access. However, such protections don’t extend to email.
A warrant is needed for messages located on the computer of a sender or receiver, but messages older than 180 days can be obtained from the servers of Internet infrastructure providers and other third parties with only a subpoena or court order. A court order can be based on a standard lower than probable cause, and many agencies can issue themselves a subpoena without an outside judge.
Recent Updates On Privacy
The Fixation on Warrantless Data Seizures Makes Prevention of Crime Harder
The Senate is debating reform of the decades old Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). Those who oppose this reform, and other reforms designed to preserve our Fourth Amendment rights, often argue that law enforcement needs exceptions to the warrant requirement.
PIPA vs. ECPA: A Story of Education
Remember SOPA and PIPA? Of course you do. While defeating this bad legislation was a great victory for the Internet and one that should not be undervalued, the bill’s defeat didn’t magically teach Congress how the Internet worked. A lack of Internet education continued to threaten the Internet’s future. Fast forward nine short months to […]
i2Coalition Statement On the Advancement of ECPA Reform Bill
Washington, DC – Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) co-founder and Board Chair Christian Dawson released the following statement after the Senate Judiciary Committee’s unanimous decision to advance the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2013, S. 607: “i2Coalition is pleased that Chairman Leahy’s and Senator Lee’s ECPA Amendments Act, S. 607, a piece of bipartisan […]
i2Coalition Statement On ECPA Amendment
Washington, DC – Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) co-founder and Board Chair Christian Dawson released the following statement in advance of the markup by the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act: “i2Coalition fully supports Chairman Leahy’s and Senator Lee’s bipartisan amendment that will bring ECPA into the Internet age through the establishment of […]
Internet Security Must Protect Privacy and Freedom
As the House of Representatives begins its discussion on the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), lawmakers must be mindful of the numerous privacy concerns raised by the bill in its current form. The goal of CISPA is to increase security online and make it easier to identify potential cyber threats, but such […]
Fighting for the Future of the Internet at HostingCon 2013
In two and a half short months, members of the i2Coalition will be heading to HostingCon 2013, the premier industry conference and trade show for web hosting and cloud service providers. This year’s event will be held June 17-19 in Austin, Texas. If you’ve previously attended a conference, I don’t need to tell you how […]