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    Leahy Introduces Benchmark Bill To Update Key Digital Privacy Law

    Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has introduced legislation concerning electronic privacy. Here’s the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) Amendments Act of 2011 (Leahy pdf; archive pdf). Here’s more from his press release:

    Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday introduced anticipated legislation to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), one of the nation’s premier digital privacy laws.  Leahy was the lead author of the 1986 law, which was enacted to protect the privacy of Americans’ electronic communications.

    The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) Amendments Act will make commonsense changes to existing law to improve privacy protections for consumers’ electronic communications and to clarify the legal standards for the government to obtain this information.  The legislation includes enhanced privacy protections for the content of Americans’ email and other electronic communications, which would be subject to a search warrant requirement based on probable cause. The bill also includes new privacy protections for Americans’ location information that is collected, used or stored by service providers, smartphones and other mobile technologies. […]

    The Leahy-authored bill also includes a provision to enhance the cybersecurity of U.S. computer networks, by allowing service providers to voluntarily disclose content to the government that is pertinent to addressing a cyber-attack involving their computer network.  This provision includes important reporting requirements to protect privacy and civil liberties.  The bill also improves law enforcement tools, including a provision to allow the government to temporarily delay notification of its access of stored electronic communications, if notification would endanger national security.

    Here’s more info:

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