House to take up email privacy bill this month

House to take up email privacy bill this month

The House will take up a popular email privacy bill during the last week of April, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Wednesday. 

The scheduled vote comes on the same day that the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill after years of delay. 

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The Email Privacy Act would close off a loophole in the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to ensure that the government obtains a warrant before forcing a technology company to hand over a customer's emails or electronic communications. 

The bill removes a provision that lets the government use a subpoena, rather than a warrant, to demand the emails if they are more than 180 days old.

"In an increasingly digital world, our laws have to be updated to meet advancement in our daily lives," McCarthy said in a statement.

McCarthy tipped his hat to the lead sponsor of the bill, Rep. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderLawmakers, celebs honor Tony Bennett with Library of Congress Gershwin Prize Bipartisan childcare bill won't help families that need it most The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Kan.), who he said "worked tirelessly to balance privacy and public safety, and bring fundamental American rights in line with each other." The bill has 314 co-sponsors, the most of any legislation currently pending. 

During negotiations, the bill went through a series of small changes ahead of the committee markup Wednesday. But privacy advocates reluctantly signed on to the amendments offered by Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteRosenstein to testify before House Judiciary Committee next week Conservative pressure on Sessions grows Clock ticking down on NSA surveillance powers MORE (R-Va.).