Texas becomes first state to require warrant for e-mail snooping

ARS Technica – by Cyrus Farivar

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed a bill giving Texans more privacy over their inboxes than anywhere else in the United States.

On Friday, Perry signed HB 2268, effective immediately. The law shields residents of the Lone Star State from snooping by state and local law enforcement without a warrant. The bill’s e-mail amendment was written by Jonathan Stickland, a 29-year-old Republican who represents an area between Dallas and Ft. Worth.  

Under the much-maligned 1986-era Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), federal law enforcement agencies are only required to get a warrant to access recent e-mails before they are opened by the recipient.

As we’ve noted many times before, there are no such provisions in federal law once the e-mail has been opened or if it has sat in an inbox, unopened, for 180 days. In March 2013, the Department of Justice (DOJ) acknowledged in a Congressional hearing that this distinction no longer makes sense and the DOJ would support revisions to ECPA.


7 thoughts on “Texas becomes first state to require warrant for e-mail snooping

    1. Well Angel I don’t agree with that. I think the less government the better. But I do agree with ‘no snooping’ law. My question is this, does this law keep the FEDS from getting into our emails?

      1. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with SB 2268 (can’t answer your question about the FEDS). It was the only bill he signed last Friday that I did like. I definitely don’t like SB 21 (Rick Perry needs to be drug tested). I was just letting everyone know that it happened.

      2. Sue, insofar as “the law” keeping them out of our e-mails, they’re above “the law”, by their own reckoning.

        Insofar as ANY domain on the internet being safe from their hacking, I seriously doubt it.

        But that’s just my opinion.

  1. I sent this in the other day. Dumbass Perry doesn’t know what he wants. He is the only person who signs over one good bill and then signs over two or more bills that are totally bad and completely off the wall and make that one good bill look insignificant no matter how big it is.

    This bill is a good one by me. However, it makes little sense if the Round Rock Police are just going to say, “Screw the 4th amendment” whenever they feel like it or have the DA probably just give them a warrant no matter what the made up circumstances are just so the DA can get the officers out of his or her way.

    1. Agreed.
      Have you taken a look at the gun laws he signed Friday? Wish he had taken a lesson from Jimel (Louisiana Gov.)

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