House passes bill updating email privacy protections

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has approved legislation updating privacy protections for emails maintained by third-party service providers such as Google and Yahoo.

The legislation requires the government to obtain a warrant from a court before requiring providers to disclose the content of emails, regardless of how long they have been in storage. Currently, a warrant is not required for communications stored beyond 180 days.

Supporters such as Rep. Tom Graves, R-Iowa, note that the last time email privacy laws were updated, Ronald Reagan was president and the Chicago Bears were Super Bowl champions.

Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., has sponsored the bill, which has widespread support in the House. A similar measure easily passed in the last Congress, but did not get Senate approval.

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