The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved legislation requiring that police obtain a search warrant to gain access to private emails and other forms of electronic communication.
The bill, championed by committee Chairman Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), updates legislation developed before the widespread adoption of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol that forms the backbone of modern email networks, let alone Facebook or Twitter.
Privacy advocates, such as the ACLU, applauded the vote.
“This is an important gain for privacy,” ACLU legislative counsel Chris Calabrese said in a statement. “We believe law enforcement should use the same standard to search your inbox that they do to search your home.”