WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Tom Rice (SC-07) joined Congressmen Kevin Yoder (R-KS), Jared Polis (D-CO), and several of his colleagues in introducing the Email Privacy Act of 2015.  This legislation would amend the Electronic Communication Protection Act of 1986 to prevent federal government agencies, like the National Security Agency (NSA), from accessing personal email accounts without a warrant.  

“Our email accounts should have the same privacy protections as our mailboxes, cars, offices, and homes,” said Congressman Rice. “The bill we introduced today will bring the Electronic Communication Protection Act up to speed with today’s technology and stop the government from snooping through your personal property without a warrant and probable cause.”

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits unreasonable search and seizure without a judicially sanctioned warrant supported by probable cause.  The Electronic Communication Protection Act of 1986 applied to technology available to consumers at the time.  According to Roll Call,  “under the current law, all emails are fair game with a subpoena after 180 days — and that subpoena goes to the email provider, keeping the actual email recipient and sender out of the loop.” The Email Privacy Act of 2015 would amend the law to protect all emails.