Securities Law Daily provides daily coverage of developments in the regulation of federal, state, and international securities and futures trading, with objective coverage of the...
By Alexei Alexis
Nov. 30 — The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to be exempted from House legislation that would make it more difficult for government agencies to access certain electronic communications for law enforcement purposes, but the agency's request faces opposition from Google Inc. and other bill supporters.
The SEC and Google filed dueling comments on the issue for a Dec. 1 hearing scheduled by the House Judiciary Committee.
Under the bill (H.R. 699), which would update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA), law enforcement agencies would be required to obtain a search warrant based on probable cause before accessing e-mails and other online communications stored by service providers. The measure would eliminate a “180-day rule” that has been used to justify warrantless access to older e-mails.
“The bill in its current form would harm the ability of the SEC and other civil law enforcement agencies to protect those we are mandated to protect and to hold accountable those we are responsible for holding accountable,” Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC enforcement division, said in testimony prepared for the House hearing. “There are multiple ways to modernize ECPA consistent with the law that would not impede our ability to protect investors and the integrity of the markets.”
The SEC has raised similar concerns about the Senate version of the ECPA overhaul legislation (S. 356) (180 SLD, 9/17/15).
Ceresney proposed special rules for the SEC and other civil law enforcement agencies. Instead of having to obtain a warrant, they would be required, where possible, to seek electronic communications directly from a subscriber before going to an Internet service provider. The subscriber or customer would be given the opportunity to challenge the request in a judicial proceeding.
The SEC plan faces opposition from privacy advocates as well as from technology companies, which have strongly endorsed the House bill in its current form.
“H.R. 699 represents an overdue update to ECPA that would ensure electronic communications content is treated in a commensurate manner to other papers and effects stored in the home, which are protected by the Fourth Amendment,” Richard Salgado, Google's director of law enforcement and information security, said in testimony written for the hearing. “It is long past time for Congress to pass a clean version of H.R. 699.”
Salgado said Congress should reject proposals that would create a civil agency carve-out.
The House bill was introduced by Reps. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) in February. It has more than 300 cosponsors, including senior Judiciary Committee members such as Reps. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
To contact the reporter on this story: Alexei Alexis in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)