The American Library Association (ALA) today joined the Digital Due Process Coalition (DDP), seeking to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). DDP includes a diverse group of privacy advocates, major companies and think tanks, proposing principles to guide the updating of ECPA, the key federal law that defines the rules for government access to e-mail and private files stored in the Internet “cloud.”
The DDP principles are fully consistent with ALA’s policies in support of privacy rights, including people’s activities in the new technological environments available to us now. Governmental entities should not be able to access personal electronic records, emails and other data without appropriate search warrants, particularized suspicion and probable cause.
ALA has advocated for these principles as part of the library community’s commitment to civil liberties including the ‘right to read’ and the privacy rights of readers and library users. If the ECPA is updated following these key principles, law enforcement can have the tools to conduct its work and investigations while the public can trust that basic privacy rights will be protected.