Policy Documents

Coalition Letter Urging Congress to Update Privacy Laws

Berin Szoka, Kelly Cobb, Ryan Radia –
April 11, 2011

Dear Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Grassley:

As public interest groups dedicated to limited, Constitutional government, we write to urge Congress to extendthe Fourth Amendment’s protections to Internet-based “cloud” and mobile location services. Specifically,Congress should amend outdated U.S. laws originally intended to protect citizens against unwarranted lawenforcement access to their private information held electronically by third parties. The laws protecting suchinformation, while robust at the time of their enactment, have been eroded by technological change. By closing the resulting gaps in legal protection, Congress can restore Americans’ individual liberties in the digital age andensure the Internet remains a powerful engine of economic growth, while preserving the tools needed by lawenforcement investigations and removing legal uncertainty that may hamper law enforcement’s effectiveness....