Secret Email

By Melanie Mason
September 8, 2015

Lawmakers in the Assembly narrowly approved a bill that would put in place stricter privacy limits on police access to emails and other electronic communications.

The measure by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) would require law enforcement agencies in most circumstances to obtain a warrant for digital communications, such as e-mails.

“It makes no sense that the email in your in box should enjoy different protections than the mail in your mailbox,” said Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia), who carried the bill on the Assembly floor.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) said the measure was “carefully crafted to ensure it does nothing to hinder investigations.” Many of the major police groups, including the state sheriffs’, district attorneys’ and police chiefs’ associations, dropped their opposition and are now neutral on the bill.

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