A think tank has been formed in the US calling for better internet user privacy in a new online civil right initiative called Digital Due Process.
Digital Due Process is a coalition of technology companies, civil rights organisations and academics seeking to update ECPA [the Electronic Communications Privacy Act] to provide privacy protections to new and emerging technologies.
“Originally designed to protect us from unwarranted government intrusion while ensuring that law enforcement had the tools necessary to protect public safety, [the ECPA] was written long before most people had heard of email, cell phones or the ‘cloud’ — the term used for programs helping people store personal data like photos and documents online. As a result, ECPA has become outdated” said Richard Salgado, Google Senior Counsel, Law Enforcement and Information Security.
The focus of the initiative is to:
•Better protect internet users’ data stored online: The government must first get a search warrant before obtaining any private communications or documents stored online;
•Better protect users’ location privacy: The government must first get a search warrant before it can track the location of your cell phone or other mobile communications device;
•Better protect against monitoring of when and with whom users communicate: The government must demonstrate to a court that the data it seeks is relevant and material to a criminal investigation before monitoring when and with whom you communicate using email, instant messaging, text messaging, the telephone, etc.; and
•Better protect against bulk data requests: The government must demonstrate to a court that the information it seeks is needed for a criminal investigation before it can obtain data about an entire class of users.
The coalition has released a short video explaining what Digital Due Process aims to achieve. View it here.