Chat, text, email -- Congress moves to stop government snooping

A renewed focus on preventing domestic terrorism threats won't stop the House from holding a hearing next week on legislation that would bolster email privacy rights.

The House Judiciary Committee plans to proceed with a Dec. 1 hearing on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., and Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., would require law enforcement agencies to obtain warrants before examining private email or other stored electronic communications, including text messages and videos.

Lawmakers have been trying for years to get the bill passed. It would update an outdated law, passed in 1986, before the advent of email or the storage "cloud."

But proponents have been hampered by objections from federal civil agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, which lack the power to obtain warrants and fear their investigatory abilities will be harmed by the bill.

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