House panel's bill strengthens privacy for older emails

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bipartisan bill making it harder for government agencies to get their hands on Americans' older emails and other electronic data.

The legislation would require federal agencies to obtain a warrant before they can force an email service provider, such as Google, to give them access to communications data that is more than 180 days old. Stored videos and text messages would also be covered.

The measure updates a 30-year-old law under which old emails are considered abandoned and allows government access without a warrant.

The committee is often divided along party lines. But the bill has over 300 co-sponsors and the panel approved it Wednesday by 28-0.

The measure's two chief sponsors are Kansas Republican Kevin Yoder and Colorado Democrat Jared Polis.