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USA PATRIOT Act Impasse

March 01, 2006

Robert Brownstone, Law and Technology Director, and Christine Vogeli of Fenwick & West co-wrote an article for American Lawyer Media's Privacy and Data Protection publication.

Brownstone and Vogeli's article discusses the privacy implications of the USA PATRIOT Act and the legal precedents for wiretaps and access to personal email accounts. The authors specifically discuss certain key pieces of legislation, such as the Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, and certain provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that address privacy and the legality of intercepting wire, electronic, and digital communications. They conclude that there are glaring gaps in the legal protection of privacy regarding electronic and other digital communications, as technological innovations in the Internet and communication industries have outpaced the existing privacy laws. Brownstone and Vogeli recommend that Congress pass a new act protecting email privacy, which would provide a level of protection commensurate with the legitimate expectations of the American public.

Read the article in its entirety here.