H.R. 699, Email Privacy Act

H.R. 699

Email Privacy Act

Committee
Judiciary

Date
April 27, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
John Huston

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 699 was introduced on February 4, 2015 by Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), and was referred to the Committee on Judiciary, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by a vote of 28-0 on April 13, 2016.

Bill Summary

H.R. 699 would update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to improve privacy protections for electronic communications stored or maintained by a third-party service provider. Additionally, H.R. 699 requires the government to obtain a search warrant from a court in criminal investigations before a provider is required to disclose the content of communications, while not impeding law enforcement’s efforts to protect the public.

Background

Presently, the government may access any emails that are more than 6 months old without a warrant. Under ECPA, law enforcement officials may access these emails with a subpoena; H.R. 699 would amend ECPA to require a warrant to obtain the content of communications from third-party service providers.

Cost

There is currently no CBO estimate for H.R. 699.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jason Grassie with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 3-1555.