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2 congressional bills seek to strengthen online privacy

Posted: September 17, 2012 |   Comments

Two congressional bills could have big implications for electronic inboxes and mobile devices when it comes to privacy.

On Thursday , Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was set to propose an amendment to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 that would extend privacy rights regarding email.

Leahy's move comes just one day after U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the Mobile Device Privacy Act, which would force service providers and app developers to gain permission before monitoring any activity or accessing any data on any mobile device.

Law enforcement's easy access to remotely stored emails has long been a thorn in the side of privacy advocates, but that might be about to change. If passed, a Senate bill introduced by Leahy will protect all email equally, regardless of whether it's stored on a remote server or your own hard drive.

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