Saying that the law hasn’t kept up with technology, Senator Mark Leno has proposed a new bill that would require law enforcement agencies to obtain a search warrant before requesting internet service providers turn over individuals’ emails. Currently, the additional judicial oversight is not required.
Citing the need to obtain a warrant before opening ‘snail mail’, Leno said in a release that, “that same protection is surprisingly not extended to our digital life.”
“Both state and federal privacy laws have failed to keep up with the modern electronic age, and government agencies are frequently able to access sensitive and personal information, including email, without adequate oversight,” said Leno. “SB 467 repairs the existing holes in California’s digital protection laws, ensuring that electronic communications can only be accessed by law enforcement with a warrant.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and ACLU have both declared their support for the bill, and the U.S. Department of Justice has signaled its support for updating the laws to protect electronic communications.