WASHINGTON, May 21 -
Mr. Speaker, big, snoopy government agencies can read emails that are over 180 days old without a person's knowledge or consent. That is just wrong. It takes a warrant to eavesdrop phone conversations, but no warrant required to peruse a person's email?
If Peeping Tom-crats can't listen to phones without a warrant, they shouldn't be able to read emails. That's why Congresswoman Lofgren, Congresswoman DelBene, and I introduced the Online Communications and Geolocation Protection Act. It would require a search warrant to seize a person's email.
When a person mails a letter, the government cannot open the mail from the time it is placed in the mailbox, travels throughout the fruited plain, and ends up in another mailbox. The law protects the privacy of this snail mail.
When a person sends an email through cyberspace, the government should not be allowed to seize the content without a search warrant. At a time when we see more and more government invasion of privacy, Congress should ensure that government does not press the delete button and eliminate the Constitution.
And that's just the way it is.