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Calif. governor vetoes email privacy legislation for third time

Jaikumar Vijayan | Oct. 16, 2013
It would have required police to obtain a warrant for email searches.

Brown's rejection of SB 467 in light of such trends is disappointing, said Hanni Fakhoury, staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy group and a bill sponsor. "I think California is bucking the trend," Fakhoury said.

Though Texas is the only state to have actually passed a warrant requirement, others are moving in that direction, he said. "There are [also] proposals in Congress to require a warrant and courts are increasingly finding an expectation of privacy in emails and other forms of electronic communications," Fakhoury said.

Brown's argument that a warrant requirement would impede investigations is also misplaced, Fakhoury said. "The government can request a delay in [notification] for 90 days, and that delay can be renewed if it would impede an investigation," he said.

"Even the federal Department of Justice has testified before Congress that they support a warrant requirement, which to me is compelling evidence a warrant requirement wouldn't impede an investigation."

 

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