Mar 30, 2010 // Google
The year was 1986. A gallon of gas cost 89 cents, Paul Simon's Graceland won the Grammy for album of the year, and the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which governs how law enforcement can access electronic data, was signed into law.
A lot has changed since 1986. Gas is now measured in dollars and Taylor Swift (born 1989) won album of the year. All the while, technology has moved at record pace. But ECPA has stayed the same. Originally designed to protect us from unwarranted government intrusion while ensuring that law enforcement had the tools necessary to protect public safety, it was written long before most people had heard of email, cell phones or the "cloud" - the term used for programs helping people store personal data like photos and documents online. As a result, ECPA has become outdated.
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