Today, May 17, 2011, Patrick Leahy introduced a bill to amend and substantially fix the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The bill made sense at the time it was first authored by Leahy a quarter century ago, but it has needed a substantial re-write in this cloud computing age. The most problematic provision allows obtaining stored communications that are more than 180 days old with just a subpoena, rather than a warrant based on probable cause. Twenty-five years ago, you might consider an un-downloaded e-mail message to have been abandoned, but that is no longer the case when millions of users are keeping all of their e-mails and documents in the cloud.
The Digital Due Process Coalition has been heavily lobbying for this change for some time.