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Lawmakers Launch Epic Tweetfest for Email Privacy Overhaul

Remember when?

Screengrab from Twitter by Re/code

A small group of lawmakers launched a tweetstorm Wednesday to highlight the need for Congress to finally update a privacy law that currently allows government agencies to obtain emails and other cloud-based communications without a warrant.

Anchored by Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas, the lawmakers spent the day tweeting about what was happening back in 1986, the last time Congress updated the law.

https://twitter.com/RepKevinYoder/status/563079448518754304

https://twitter.com/RepKevinYoder/status/563072821992361985

https://twitter.com/RepKevinYoder/status/563069532215197696

https://twitter.com/CongressmanDan/status/563065901814407168

https://twitter.com/HurdOnTheHill/status/563062728609509376

https://twitter.com/RepKevinYoder/status/563058771304656896

https://twitter.com/RepSamFarr/status/563035273345630210

https://twitter.com/RepSamFarr/status/563007763107020800

https://twitter.com/RepKevinYoder/status/563001578542473216

On Wednesday, the lawmakers reintroduced a pair of bills in the House and Senate aimed at updating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act so that it better protects Americans at a time when much of our communications are stored in cloud-based data centers. The legislation was also debated last session but died without action.

Basically, the legislation makes it clear that government agencies need to obtain a warrant before they look at Americans’ email or other online communications.

The House legislation already has bipartisan support, with 228 co-sponsors. In the Senate, the legislation is being championed by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Sen. Mike Lee, the Utah Republican, but so far has only six co-sponsors. However, broad support from the tech industry and privacy advocates could help push the legislation over the finish line this year.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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