Ho Ho Hold the Phone: Computer Cos. Seek ISP Protections

Push for changes to ECPA to protect online info

Google, Twitter, the ACLU and others are pushing bills that would protect ISPs from unwarranted (literally) searches and give e-mails and other online communications the same constitutional right to privacy as mail and phone calls.

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They are trying to collect 100,000 signatures on an online petition pressuring the President to require government agencies to have a search warrant before looking at e-mails, texts, and social media posts.

Citing legislation currently circling the Hill, the members of the ad hoc, "Stop Spying on Santa" coalition wants the administration to support reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) so that ISPs can't be forced to disclose emails without a warrant.

At press time, the petition had drawn 36,327 signatures.