California State Senator Mark Leno has introduced important new legislation that protects email privacy. Senate Bill 467, sponsored by EFF, requires state law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before asking service providers to hand over a private citizen's emails.
EFF has long been concerned with law enforcement claims that investigators do not need a search warrant under federal electronic privacy statutes to obtain any email that has been opened or has been stored on a server for 180 days. The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Policy recently announced it would support changes to federal law that would require a warrant in such cases. While this is a step in the right direction, updated state laws are still needed in order to protect consumers and the email services they use.
Unfortunately, on October 12, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the bill.