May 7, 2013
In documents obtained through a FOIA request in April, the IRS made it clear that it does not believe taxpayers have a "reasonable expectation of privacy" when they use email. It said the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is therefore not a protection to email communications for older emails.
In March, Sens. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) proposed a bill, S. 607, ending this 180 day threshold, so that warrants would be needed before any email is reviewed. Salmon's bill is the House companion to that legislation.
"Clearly there is a need to ensure the privacy of our personal emails, particularly given the recent statements by the IRS," Salmon said. "In the ever changing world of technology, our laws need to be updated to ensure our constitutional rights are protected regardless of what mode of communication we use."