ATR Teams with CDT, ACLU to Launch New ECPA Advocacy
By Alex Byers
As talk about email privacy rules ramps up again in Washington, digital due process proponents are looking at the 113th Congress as the best chance yet to notch a victory — and they’re forming another coalition to help put the hammer down. The new group, known as Digital 4th — as in the amendment — puts traditional tech advocates at the ACLU and Center for Democracy and Technology together with Grover Norquist’s anti-tax group, Americans for Tax Reform. And they’re calling the need for ECPA reform a constitutional no-brainer. “There’s going to be a full-court press on this issue over the next couple of years,” CDT’s Greg Nojeim told MT. “There’s a sense that the stars have aligned — and not just because there’s a substantive need for the legislation, but because a number of the parties involved are committing substantial time and resources to getting it done.”
The groups’ stances on the issue aren’t new, but with what they see as a great opportunity to make headway on email privacy, they’re pledging a new level of activism. For one, the inclusion of Norquist’s group provides some political cover for more Republicans to get on board. And in addition to the activism from the groups themselves, Digital 4th has retained lobbying muscle from firms like Jochum Shore & Trossevin to whip lawmakers toward their goal: Requiring law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before asking for digital content or location data.
The long road to reform gets back underway Tuesday, when a House Judiciary Committee subpanel looks at “part 1” of ECPA reform.
Source: Politico Pro Technology, March 18, 2013