Texas has become the first state to enact a law that looks to protect email security. HB 2268 requires state law enforcement agencies to get a warrant for all e-mails regardless of the age of the e-mail. Governor Rick Perry signed HB 2268 into law on Friday. Previously, under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, federal law enforcement only needed a warrant for new mail that had not yet been opened by the recipient.
A portion of the new bill reads:
[A] district judge may issue a search warrant under this section for electronic customer data held in electronic storage, including the contents of and records and other information related to a wire communication or electronic communication held in electronic storage, by a provider of an electronic communications service or a provider of a remote computing service described by Subsection (h), regardless of whether the customer data is held at a location in this state or at a location in another state. An application made under this subsection must demonstrate probable cause for the issuance of the warrant and must be supported by the oath or affirmation of the authorized peace officer.
Chris Soghoian, a senior policy analyst with the ACLU said, “Privacy is a special thing in Texas—it goes to the core values of Texas.” Other states including California are considering similar legislation.