Amendment Helps Protect Personal Email from Gov't Intrusion

Updated: 11/30/2012 7:56 AM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amendment to existing law that makes it tougher for the government to grab your private electronic information.

Under existing law, the government does not need a search warrant to collect your e-mail, Google searches, Facebook posts or electronic files on the "cloud," if the information is six months, or older. Many privacy watchdog groups have argued the existing law is outdated and allows the government too much power over personal electronic information.

Minneapolis privacy attorney, Gregg Corwin, tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the law is long overdue because electronic messaging has progressed far beyond the scope of the original privacy law written in 1986. Corwin says the American public would be outraged if it realized there is no limit to what the government can gather on your personal electronic messages after 180 days. He says the Senate Judiciary's move is step in the right direction and he expects the full Senate and House will pass and President Obama will sign the new law early next year.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar sits on the Judiciary Committee. We checked and found she voted in favor of the amendment.