A United States Securities and Exchange Commission letter has asked the United States Senate Judiciary Committee to change the current ECPA reform bill (S.607) so that U.S. state and federal regulatory agencies could obtain a “quasi-warrant” to compel communication service providers to disclose their users’ “content” directly to them. This brand-new right of access to users’ private content would allow the U.S. government broad authority to seize information directly from the “cloud” without an actual criminal warrant. The cloud provider would surrender ALL files in the target account, including those that are irrelevant to the subject of the investigation, denying businesses their right to safeguard privileged information, and bypassing every consumer’s right to oppose or limit the government’s right of access. In many cases the consumer would never even know that some faceless bureaucrat has sought and obtained access to the consumer’s private information: private and even privileged emails; draft documents, pictures not intended for any public disclosure.
U.S. Constitution under Attack
The U.S. government is trying to take your property, without any due process. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission proposal is a direct affront to the 1st, 4th, 5th and 14th amendments to the United States Constitution. If the U.S. Congress gives these bureaucrats what they want, each U.S. citizen would suffer a serious blow to their privacy rights. “Civil” investigations would be mere cloud-based fishing expeditions. And, as we now know from recent revelations, once the U.S. government gets information they can and will use it for any purpose; and it will be freely shared and ultimately made public.
There are two things we can do. First, let your elected officials know that you expect their support for legislation that protects your privacy. Second, encrypt your communications wherever possible, both while in transit and then while in storage. If the United States Congress allows these agencies to access your information, you can still prevent them from making any sense of it through the simple act of transit and end-state encryption.
You hold the key to your own privacy. Turn that key – two times. Tell Congress to keep the government’s mitts off your private bits. Meanwhile, if you use Golden Frog’s VyprVPN, you can ensure that if and when they get your bits it is encrypted gibberish they cannot understand.
Transitory and end-state encryption won’t keep their mitts off your bits, but it will protect your privacy. Golden Frog has customers in more than 215 countries around the globe that share our belief that encryption helps protect your online privacy. Act now. Complain, but still encrypt!
Ron Yokubaitis, co-CEO, Golden Frog