Privacy Police

Gmail, Facebook Messages Inch Toward Legal Protection

But don't do anything crazy just yet.
 Gmail, Facebook Messages Inch Toward Legal Protection

“How many times have I told you? Always call from an outside line!

Those of you with a history of sketchy dealings lurking in your Facebook messages and/or Gmail archives are one step closer to search-and-seizure protection.

Last week, Senator Patrick Leahy introduced an amendment that would require the cops to show up with a warrant if they want access to personal data stored in the cloud. And earlier today, reports The Hill, that amendment was officially adopted by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But don’t open up a Gchat conversation with your weed dealer just yet.

The committee’s adoption is an important hurdle, but the amendment has a long way to go before figuring into any Law and Order: SVU episodes. The change isn’t contained within its own legislation. It’s tucked into a House bill regarding video privacy. The Senate Judiciary Committee just approved including the amendment within the bill, and now it has to approve that bill before it can even be debated on the floor by the full Senate, much less be adopted.

So maybe just stick to using disposable cell phones and payphones for all your shady shit.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com