Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Yoder's Email Privacy Amendment adopted by committee


KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder's Email Privacy Amendment was unanimously adopted by the House Appropriations Committee hearing today. 

The amendment extends Fourth Amendment privacy protections to electronic communications, or emails.

"The IRS, SEC, and other government agencies have stated Americans don’t have an expectation of privacy with their email. I completely disagree. By passing this amendment, the Appropriations Committee is taking a critical step towards ensuring all Americans are protected by the Fourth Amendment – their mail, documents on their desks at home, and now their private emails,” Yoder said.  “As the way we communicate with each other has dramatically changed over the past twenty years, our electronic communications laws have not kept pace. This amendment is a significant step, and I thank my colleagues for their support of my amendment.”

The Email Privacy Act now has 120 co-sponsors, 90 of which are Republicans and 30 are Democrats. 

More information about the bill:
The amendment affirms agencies under the jurisdiction of the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill must extend the same Fourth Amendment privacy protections to electronic communications as they do to hard mail and other private documents. The amendment means government agencies must obtain a search warrant to obtain and view emails from third-party service providers. The Yoder amendment was adopted unanimously by the Appropriations Committee, and the language is now included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget for the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill.