EFF, Others Form Coalition for Privacy Law Reform

EFF has the story, that they have allied with privacy groups, think tanks, academics and technology companies (including Googling) to seek reform of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

As the EFF post notes, what is most remarkable is that the joint desire to see a twenty-five year old law brought up to speed far outstrips the differences on the issue between the different members of the new Digital Due Process coalition.

The group recommends that the legal standards under which the government can obtain private communications and records be clarified and strengthened in order to:

* Better protect the privacy of communications and documents you store in the cloud

* Better protect you against secret tracking of your location through your cell phone or any other mobile device

* Better protect you against secret monitoring of when and with whom you communicate over the telephone or the Internet

* Better protect innocent Americans against government fishing expeditions through masses of communications data unrelated to a criminal suspect

These are the minimum points all members will be pursuing but many may push for further reform. As a common intersection, these four changes would net a considerable improvement over the current state of a law drafted well before the Web was invented and when few people could envision the breadth and depth of capabilities we’d see realized in today’s smart phones and other mobile computing devices.

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