Electronic Communications Privacy Act - Essay Example

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The cyber space is growing dynamically and at a rapid pace, which has resulted in more features, channels of communication and means of sharing resources within the cyberspace. Nonetheless, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) has been slow in capturing the dynamic…
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Electronic Communications Privacy Act
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Download file to see previous pages , which require a legal framework to manage the workings of the new features created by the development in computer and internet sector (Matsuura, 2003). Ideally, the act seeks to ensure sanity and protection of privacy, but the rapid changes in the communication sector especially in the internet-based sector has rendered the act virtually ineffective while other laws such as the patriotic act have made it impossible to enhance privacy.
In its present form, the ECPA has countless flaws owing to the dynamism of communication. The inadequacies of the act can be linked to its enactment. The ECPA was enacted in 1986 when the communication sector was not expansive or as specialized and innovative as it is today. As such, most of the concerns were addressed generally. Today privacy has become a major concern but back then, it was not a key concern. Fundamentally, the act seeks to enhance privacy but in light of other laws such as the patriotic act, it is ineffective (Electronic Privacy Information Center, 2012). The patriotic act granted the government huge leeway in compromising or breaching privacy in all the forms of electronic communications. The government can compromise the privacy of communications in the form of images, signs, writings and even oral communication due to the flaws of the law as revealed by United States v. Councilman. In the above suit, the defendant sought to block the government from accessing email in temporary storage prior to the recipient reading them. Nevertheless, on appeal, a full court of appeal revealed that e-mails on transit are not protected from surveillance (Packard, 2012). From the above, it is evident that despite having strict clauses on privacy ECPA is inherently inadequate.
Surveillance is one of the most controversial issues in America owing to its extensive nature. The surveillance involves electronic data, which is protected by this act. Nonetheless, the government has seemingly unlimited access to electronic data. One of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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