Achieving email privacy will not be for anytime soon, unfortunately, as a new bill is delayed once again. Two US senators asked the bill to be pulled from the Judiciary Committee’s agenda, as some politicians aim to abuse the right to privacy for their purposes. The road ahead will be long and filled with obstacles before we can even dream of email privacy.
Political Games And Email Privacy
The email privacy bill is an amendment to a proposal that would allow the FBI to use National Security Letters to obtain information from email providers. Instead of requiring a warrant, which takes time to receive and requires the right person to sign it, NSLs are much easier to come by. It would effectively make spying on consumers easier than before.
Senators Mike Lee and Patrick Leahy are the ones who asked the entire bill be pulled from the agenda. American citizens – as well as consumers around the world – have a right to privacy in email communication. But that is not to the liking of law enforcement agencies, nor the majority of US politicians by the look of things.
Senator Mike Lee told the media:
“Unfortunately, some Senators on the committee have decided late in the day that this bill should be a vehicle to move an unrelated and controversial expansion of the use of national security letters by the FBI. Such an expansion would swallow up the protections this bill offers to the American people. While there are other concerns we had hoped to negotiate, the national security letter amendment is something I cannot in good conscience have attached to this bill.”
It is interesting to note various technology giants are for protecting email privacy. Google and Facebook openly expressed their negative feelings towards this privacy bill. Moreover, the NTIA is supporting a proposal to move away from the US Controlled Domain Name system as well.
Unfortunately, these setbacks are not good for privacy advocates by any means. The political is slower than the average snail to begin with, and interference of political agendas will only make the fight harder. Protecting consumer privacy is not a priority for most politicians, and they will not hesitate to stall the approval of this amendment.
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