If you ever thought your email was safe from prying eyes... think again! As a direct result of a Freedom of Information Act Request, it was discovered that due to a loophole in a 1986 law, the Government can search your emails located on third-party servers after 180 days without a search warrant!
It's unbelievable that this is even possible, but unfortunately it is. And believe it or not, there's a lot of resistance from well-known politicians who are committed to keeping loopholes like this open so that big brother can freely violate your right to privacy.
For example, California Governor Jerry Brown, a governor elected by the people, vetoed a bill that would close this electronic loophole in the State of California... not once... not twice... but three times!
This loophole exists in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986. It's a federal law that established standards for government access to private information that is transmitted and stored on the Internet, such as emails, private photos, or corporate data. The legislation originally passed nearly three decades ago -- before most Americans had access to a home computer, before email was widely used, and before Facebook, Twitter and cloud computing transformed the way we live, work and store our private information. So it is severely outdated and is the sole reason this loophole exists.
However, there is legislation currently out there that will completely reform ECPA and that will close the 180 day loophole. The proposed ECPA reforms would require a warrant based on the traditional standard of probable cause in order for officials to force service providers to disclose the contents of email and other electronic communications -- just like what is already required to access digital communications that are less than 180 days old or to obtain the information you send in the mail or transmit over the telephone.
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