Do you use gmail, or (ack) Yahoo or Live? It’s pretty convenient, right? You don’t have to download messages to your laptop or phone before reading them. You don’t have to worry about storage space. You do, however, have to worry about the government’s access to your old messages.

Emails that you keep in the cloud for more than 180 days are easier to get at than those that are less than 180-days old. Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, law enforcement only only needs a subpoena (as opposed to a warrant) to get at your old emails. Why? I don’t know the full legislative history, but the law was enacted in 1986. It wasn’t exactly taking modern cloud storage into account.

If we are lucky, this will change soon. This week, Congress passed the Email Privacy Act, which will require agencies to get a warrant for those older communications. This isn’t the first time it has passed the House, and it still has to get through the Senate.

But, we can be hopeful.

via The Verge