NextGov reports that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has sent out an agenda for the new legislative session that includes privacy protections:
The committee will continue where it left off last session in revising the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act to balance law enforcement’s need to probe online messages with citizens’ right to privacy. In addition, members will examine full-body screening at airports and the tracking of Americans’ online activities by marketers and other third-party data aggregators. The various measures are expected to complement a comprehensive cybersecurity bill that several agencies are collaborating on this Congress. […]
And the committee will revisit the 1994 Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which requires telecommunications carriers and equipment manufacturers to design their products in a way that allows law enforcement agencies to conduct necessary electronic monitoring. “When I wrote that law in the early ’90s, no one could have contemplated the technological leaps and bounds that have burst onto the scene in the two decades since then,” Leahy said. “Updating this law will require careful consideration of Americans’ privacy rights, as well as the legitimate needs of the law enforcement community to gather valuable, court-ordered surveillance information to keep the nation safe.