Coalition aims to modernise key US law

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Coalition aims to modernise key US law

Google, Microsoft and others join Digital Due Process group.

Google and Microsoft have joined forces in a new coalition with other technology firms and civil rights organisations, in an attempt to pressure the US government to improve privacy protections for new and emerging technologies.

The Digital Due Process group was announced yesterday, and is attempting to force an update to the 24 year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which governs how law enforcement can access electronic data.

Richard Salgado, senior counsel for law enforcement and information security at Google, explained in a blog post that the group wants to modernise the law in four key ways to make it more relevant to "how we live our lives today".

Salgado said that the government should be forced to have a search warrant before "obtaining any private communications or documents stored online" or before it can "track the location of your cell phone or other mobile communications device".

The group also believes that the government should be required to demonstrate to a court that the data it seeks is "relevant and material" to a criminal investigation before beginning to monitor internet or telephone communications.

"The government must demonstrate to a court that the information it seeks is needed for a criminal investigation before it can obtain data about an entire class of users," Salgado added.

"In the coming months, we will meet with lawmakers, law enforcement officials and others to help build support for modernising the law."

Other members of the coalition include eBay, Salesforce, AT&T and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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