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ECPA is "Outdated," Says Leahy
May 17, 2011 // Wired

In proposing a significant update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) called the current law "outdated." As reported by Wired, Leahy's proposal:

"...would nullify a provision of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act that allows the government to acquire a suspect's e-mail or other stored content from an internet service provider without showing probable cause that a crime was committed, as long as the content has been stored on a third-party server for 180 days or more...

"The act was adopted at a time when e-mail wasn't stored on servers for a long time, but instead was held there briefly on its way to the recipient's inbox. E-mail more than 6 months old was assumed abandoned."