Monday, March 29, 2010

"Digital Due Process" Alliance Seeks Privacy Assurance for Cloud Services

Major Internet players, including Amazon.com, AOL, AT&T, Google, Intel, Microsoft, SalesForce.com and others, have formed an industry initiative aimed at updating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of the United States so as to assure the privacy of cloud-based services.


Specifically, the "Digital Due Process" alliance said it wants to modernize ECPA in four ways:

  • Better protect your data stored online: The government must first get a search warrant before obtaining any private communications or documents stored online;


  • Better protect your 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 you 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 traditional standard for the government to search your home or office and read your mail or seize your personal papers is a judicial warrant. The law needs to be clear that the same standard applies to email and documents stored with a service provider, while at the same time be flexible enough to meet law enforcement needs," stated Jim Dempsey, Vice President for Public Policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology.
http://www.digitaldueprocess.orghttp://

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