Compliance Management, Privacy

Warrantless email snooping banned in Texas

In a landmark move for the state, Texas has banned email snooping without a warrant.

A new privacy bill was signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry on Friday and has gone immediately into effect. Texas residents are now protected from state and local law enforcement surveillance that is conducted without a warrant.

According to the Star-Telegram, Jonathan Strickland, a 20-year-old first-year Republican legislator, authored the privacy portion of the bill.

The Lone Star State's law was passed after a federal privacy bill drafted in 1986, called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), has come under question by senators, who proposed revisions to the legislation.

Currently, the ECPA gives police the authority to obtain emails that are older than 180 days with only a subpoena, which is easier to obtain than a search warrant.

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