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House Approves Bill Requiring Warrants for All Police Email Searches

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-Va.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-Va. // Jacquelyn Martin/AP

The House passed legislation for the second time Monday that would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before demanding any emails regardless of how old they are.

Under a 1980s law, the Justice Department and other agencies can currently obtain emails more than six months old with only a subpoena.

The House passed similar legislation in the past Congress, but the bill never reached the Senate floor.

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“The U.S. Constitution protects Americans’ property from unreasonable searches and seizures and we must ensure that this principle continues to thrive in the digital age,” House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said in a statement shortly after passage of the Email Privacy Act.

He also called on the Senate to pass the bill.

Goodlatte listed passage of the bill as a priority for this Congress.

Monday’s approval was on a voice vote.

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