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California senator pushes electronic privacy protection

John P. Mello Jr. | March 27, 2013
Congress has let the Electronic Communications Privacy Act languish for decades

Start over, Google expert says

Also appearing at the hearing Tuesday was Richard Salgado, director of Law Enforcement and Information Security at Google.

"The inconsistent, confusing, and uncertain standards that currently exist under ECPA illustrate how the law fails to preserve the reasonable privacy expectations of Americans today," he told the House panel.

He also argued that because the ECPA is so antiquated, it makes it difficult for judges and law enforcement personnel to apply the law in today's real world.

"By creating inconsistent privacy protection for users of cloud services and inefficient, confusing compliance hurdles for service providers, ECPA has created an unnecessary disincentive to move to a more efficient, more productive method of computing," he maintained.

"ECPA must be updated to help encourage the continued growth of the cloud and our economy," he added.

Whether Congress has the will to deal with the ECPA this time around remains to be seen. Reform efforts in 2011 and 2012 generated similar rhetoric, only to end up in the Congressional dustbin at the end of the legislative session.

 

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