Sunday, April 4, 2010

Digital Due Process

A coalition is being put together to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, made up of scholars, civil rights orgs, and tech companies (including Google).  From the their website:

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was a forward-looking statute when enacted in 1986. It specified standards for law enforcement access to electronic communications and associated data, affording important privacy protections to subscribers of emerging wireless and Internet technologies. Technology has advanced dramatically since 1986, and ECPA has been outpaced. The statute has not undergone a significant revision since it was enacted in 1986 - light years ago in Internet time.

As a result, ECPA is a patchwork of confusing standards that have been interpreted inconsistently by the courts, creating uncertainty for both service providers and law enforcement agencies. ECPA can no longer be applied in a clear and consistent way, and, consequently, the vast amount of personal information generated by today’s digital communication services may no longer be adequately protected.
The group is pushing a "update" rather than a full rewrite of EFCA to better clarify the lines between social interests (like law enforcement issues, national security) and civil interests (like the government having to get a warrant before they locate you using mobile positioning data via your cell phone).

Seems like a pretty common sense approach.  And it's no question EFCA in it's current form fails to address a good chunk of new technology and information flow processes.

Hopefully this coalition gets taken seriously.

No comments:

Post a Comment