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Democrats call for update to e-surveillance law

Grant Gross, IDG News Service | April 6, 2011
Congress needs to rewrite a law governing law enforcement access to mobile-phone data, e-mail messages and other electronic communications to reflect changes in technology, including a growing reliance on cloud computing, several senators said Wednesday.

Digital data from suspects is "critical" to investigations, Baker said. "If we were to raise the standard with respect to some electronic communications ... it's going to have an impact on law enforcement investigations," he said. "It would be more difficult."

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked if requiring a higher evidentiary standard of law enforcement agencies to collect digital data would slow down investigations and have "real-life consequences, particularly where human life is involved."

"Absolutely, senator," Baker answered. "Whatever we do in this area, we need to get the balance right."


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