Tag Archives: ECPA

House Members Reintroduce Email Privacy Act

On January 9, 2017, Representatives Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) reintroduced the Email Privacy Act.  According to Rep. Yoder’s spokesman, the text of the bill is similar to the version the House of Representatives unanimously approved last April, but which did not pass the Senate.  As we previously reported, the proposed changes would … Continue Reading

House Unanimously Passes Email Privacy Act

On April 27, the House of Representative unanimously passed the Email Privacy Act.  As previously reported, the proposed changes would strengthen the privacy protections for email and other cloud-storage services by closing a loophole that allowed law enforcement to access older data without obtaining a warrant. However, while there is widespread support to require warrants … Continue Reading

House Judiciary Committee Approves Email Privacy Act

In a unanimous vote, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Email Privacy Act, a long-awaited update to the 30-year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).  The proposed changes would strengthen the privacy protections for email and other cloud-storage services by closing a loophole that allowed law enforcement to access older data without obtaining a warrant.  The … Continue Reading

California Requires a Warrant To Search Electronic Communications

On Thursday, October 8, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“CalECPA”), which requires law enforcement officials in California to obtain a warrant to access digital records, including emails and text messages. The new law was supported by privacy rights advocates and technology companies, many of which are pushing … Continue Reading

Covington at #SXSW 2015: Members of Congress Discuss Future of Privacy

Although Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) may have received the most attention for his attendance at South by Southwest (“SXSW”) Interactive, many other members of Congress were represented this year.  Continuing our coverage of the conference, this past weekend we attended a panel on “The Future of Privacy,” featuring congressional representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA), Suzan DelBene … Continue Reading

Ten Ways the 2014 Election May Affect Privacy and Data Security Law

When Republicans take over the Senate in January, new leaders will control key committees that oversee privacy and data security issues, and their priorities will differ significantly from those of their predecessors.  Privacy issues, however, generally tend not to break neatly along party lines and there will remain bipartisan support – and bipartisan opposition – … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses CFAA, ECPA, and Other Claims in Privacy Class Action Opperman v. Path

On May 14, a judge in the Northern District of California granted in part and dismissed in part four motions to dismiss filed by defendants in the consolidated class action, Opperman v. Path (No. 3:13-CV-00453-JST). The plaintiffs alleged that apps offered by a number of developers (“App Defendants”) accessed and uploaded information from plaintiffs’ mobile … Continue Reading

CA Passes Legislation Requiring Search Warrant For Disclosure of Stored Content

Continuing a flurry of recent legislative activity (see posts here and here), the California legislature on Tuesday passed a bill requiring that California law enforcement agencies obtain a search warrant to compel the production of communications content (e.g., emails and social media messages) from providers of electronic communication services.  A service provider may provide stored content … Continue Reading

DOJ Supports Modernization of ECPA

A Justice Department official told a House panel this week that Congress should modernize the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, a 1986 statute that creates rules governing access by law enforcement and other government agencies to user information stored with Internet communication service providers. In particular, the Justice Department recognizes that it no longer makes sense … Continue Reading

Two New Decisions on the Wiretap Act and Secondary Liability

The last two weeks have brought two important decisions in the ongoing litigation over behavioral advertising firm NebuAd’s alleged use of a device to intercept data from ISP networks. Several ISPs allegedly permitted NebuAd to install an “appliance” on their networks in order to collect and analyze subscriber data for ad targeting purposes.  In lawsuits … Continue Reading

House Passes Updated VPPA Amendment

Continuing the flurry of activity around privacy legislation that we have seen over the past few weeks, the House today passed an amendment to the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”), 18 U.S.C. § 2710.  The bill would amend the VPPA by clarifying that a consumer may consent to the disclosure of her video viewing information … Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Amendment to ECPA, VPPA

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the much-discussed update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 and the Video Privacy Protection of 1988 (“VPPA”).  The Committee adopted Senator Leahy’s manager’s amendment (which we discussed here), with a minor modification proposed by Senators Cornyn and Lee.  Senator Feinstein also offered an amendment to the VPPA … Continue Reading

Committee Vote on ECPA, VPPA Amendment Scheduled for Thursday

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee reportedly will vote on Sen. Patrick Leahy’s bill that would amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA).  The bill would amend the VPPA by clarifying that a consumer may consent to the disclosure of her video viewing information “though an electronic means … Continue Reading

Rep. Lofgren Introduces Legislation to Update ECPA

Last Friday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the ECPA 2.0 Act, H.R. 6529, which would strengthen the legal standards for law enforcement to gain access to electronic communications and location information.  The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is more than 25 years old and is widely seen as needing modernization to address changes in digital … Continue Reading

Judiciary Committee May Consider Amendments to VPPA, ECPA

According to a number of media outlets, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider proposed amendments to the Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) and to Title II of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, better known as the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”).  The amendments reportedly will be offered by Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and likely will … Continue Reading

Court Holds Interception of Unsecured Wi-Fi Communications Does Not Violate the Wiretap Act

Late last month — in a decision that seems to have been largely overlooked in the privacy trade press — a federal judge in Illinois held [PDF] that the Wiretap Act did not prohibit the interception of communications sent over unsecured Wi-Fi networks provided by hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and other commercial entities.  The decision came … Continue Reading

Carrier IQ Class Action Sent Back to State Court

Judge Feess of the Central District of California recently rejected Carrier IQ’s attempt to litigate in federal court a class action concerning whether Carrier IQ’s software, installed on a wide range of smart phone devices from many different manufacturers running on various wireless networks, violated California law.  Judge Feess remanded the case to state court … Continue Reading

ECPA Class Action Settlement Overturned

The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s approval of a class action settlement last Monday in Nachshin v. AOL, remanding the two-year old case back to the district court for a new round of settlement negotiation and approval. No. 10-55129 (9th Cir. Nov. 21, 2011).  The class action was brought in 2009, alleging that the … Continue Reading

Virginia District Court Issues Significant Ruling Upholding Government Access to Non-Content User Data

by David Fagan and Alex Berengaut On November 10, 2011, Judge Liam O’Grady of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a 60-page memorandum opinion in a dispute over the validity of a special court order issued to Twitter for non-content records for certain users connected to the government’s Wikileaks … Continue Reading

Social Media: Legal Risks and Rewards

Your company has just launched an innovative new social media service, and you’ve received fanfare from the press, increased website traffic, and a spike in advertising revenues.  In short, the service is a complete success — until you’re served with a class action complaint seeking millions of dollars in damages and a civil investigative demand … Continue Reading

Key Holdings in Google Street View Litigation: WiFi Not “Readily Accessible to the General Public” and ECPA Preempts State Wiretap Laws

The Northern District of California issued two key rulings last week in denying in part a motion to dismiss in In re Google Inc. Street View Electronic Communications Litigation, a consolidated action arising out of Google’s acknowledged interception of “payload data,” including emails, usernames, password, and other private data, from unencrypted home wireless networks using … Continue Reading
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