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Sensenbrenner Statement on Electronic Communications Privacy Act


Location: Washington, DC

This afternoon, Congressman Sensenbrenner (R-WI) clarified remarks he made during the House Judiciary Crime Subcommittee's hearing on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, also known as ECPA.

"I have long opposed data retention and do not believe that any ECPA reform package should include such a mandate. Data "retention' requires a provider to retain information about the Internet use of all of its customers. A data retention mandate raises privacy concerns because it affects all users, not just bad actors.

"By contrast, I support a far more targeted approach, data preservation, which is already found in current law. The law requires providers to preserve data about the Internet use of a particular subscriber when law enforcement has evidence of wrongdoing. Current law allows for a retention period of 90 days, renewable for an additional 90-days. At today's hearing, I was inquiring as to whether extending this 180 preservation requirement would be useful to law enforcement. I still believe that the more cumbersome proposals for data retention belong "in the dustbin of history.'"

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