Facebook Calls on Senate to Fight Warrantless Email Seizures

facebook-privacyThough Facebook and other tech giants have found themselves embroiled in a scandal for turning over user data to the National Security Agency (NSA), the social media giant and other tech companies called on the Senate this week to fight government groups seeking warrantless access to emails. Pending legislation would require government agencies to first obtain warrants before reading emails, though the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Justice Department are seeking an exemption from the law.

“Personal privacy would suffer, and the potential for government abuse would expand dramatically, because an individual or company whose records were sought would have no opportunity to object. This would turn civil proceedings into fishing expeditions at a huge cost to individual privacy and the confidentiality of proprietary data,” Facebook and the other tech companies wrote in a letter sent to senators last week.

Though Facebook has found itself in hot water over the NSA PRISM scandal, they should be commended for fighting the SEC and Justice Department’s push for exemption. If these two agencies got their way, they could request electronic information from a user’s service provider and receive all of it, no matter if the information within was pertinent to their investigation or not.