ECPA Reform Petition


The Competitive Enterprise Institute has joined a diverse left/right coalition in support of important privacy protections. The coalition has created a petition calling for reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA). The law has not been updated in 25 years and should be brought up to speed with current reasonable expectations of privacy.

Under the existing standard, the government can access any communication that has been revealed to a third party– including ISPs that store emails, photos, and personal documents– without a warrant. This law does not reflect common sense conceptions of privacy in the modern digital age.

The text of the petition is as follows:

The government should be required to go to a judge and get a warrant before it can read our email, access private photographs and documents we store online, or track our location using our mobile phones. Please support legislation that would update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) to require warrants for this sensitive information and to require the government to report publicly on the use of its surveillance powers.

To sign the petition, go to and fill out the form.

Organizations in the coalition include:

Center for Democracy and Technology
American Civil Liberites Union
Americans for Tax Reform
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Computer & Communications Industry Association
Defending Dissent Foundation
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression