The International Communications Privacy Act (ICPA) is legislation that would clarify how U.S. warrants for digital information apply in the U.S. and abroad. The bill ensures mutual cooperation between like-minded governments so we can fight global threats jointly and efficiently.
Why do we need this now?
The laws that govern data stored online were written in 1986, long before the internet or even the World Wide Web. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) comes from the era when online storage was rare and expensive, and a home computer was the only device that stored valuable email. In today’s world, where even our cars have an internet connection, these old guidelines are completely out of touch.
We need to update our laws to make sure the rules are clear and make sense in a world where everything is now online.
What happens if we don’t update our laws?
These laws are so outdated that they’re causing legal and diplomatic disagreements that hold up investigations. We need an updated, modern law that lays out a clear process for law enforcement to get global evidence quickly with built-in protection for privacy.
What about international treaties? Do we need both?
Modernizing our laws for the digital age will require help from everyone. The courts, Congress, and the administration need to ensure that we protect American citizens, but also find ways to cooperate with our allies overseas. International agreements will be critical, but America must lead by example if we want the rest of the world to follow.