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Google to Government: Reform Archaic Electronic Communications Law

Posted by New Leaders Council 4 Admin on September 21, 2015 at 1:32 PM

Originally published on eWeek on September 18 by Jaikumar Vijayan.

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 needs to be updated to protect stored digital content from overzealous government access, Google says.

Google, provider of the world's largest email service, has once again aired its long-standing call for reform of the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986.

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, Richard Salgado, Google's director for law enforcement and information security, described ECPA reform as critical to protecting email and other stored digital content from overzealous government access.

"The inconsistent, confusing and uncertain standards that currently exist under ECPA fail to preserve the reasonable privacy expectations of Americans today," he said in written testimony before the committee.

Internet service providers, law enforcement agencies and courts alike have had problems understanding the law and how it should be applied to current technology and business practices. "By creating inconsistent privacy protection for users of cloud services and inefficient and confusing compliance hurdles for service providers, ECPA has created an unnecessary disincentive to move to a more efficient, more productive method of computing," Salgado said.

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