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US Senate Should Pass Bill to Protect Emails From Warrantless Searches

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US senators Patrick Leahy and Mike Lee called on the US Senate to protect the privacy rights of Americans by passing a bill to outlaw warrantless searches of emails and information stored in the cloud.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Senate should protect the privacy rights of Americans by passing a bill to outlaw warrantless searches of emails and information stored in the cloud, US senators Patrick Leahy and Mike Lee said in an opinion piece on Monday.

"Under the Email Privacy Act passed by the House, and the ECPA [Electronic Communications Protect Act] Amendments Act…the private content of our emails and other personal electronic files would be protected by the warrant requirement," the senators stated in The Hill.

On April 28, the US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of improving privacy protections for emails.

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The Email Privacy Act will amend the antiquated 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act and require the US government to obtain a warrant to access emails, social media posts and other digital content stored by internet service providers, regardless of how old the content is.

The privacy bill had the largest number of co-sponsors of any piece of legislation in the current Congress, and passed in a final vote of 419 to zero.

The bill also received broad support from US technology companies and privacy advocates.

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