e-News 2/10/17

e-News 2/10/17

  • Updating Electronic and Online Privacy
  • Talking Business with Morris County Business
  • February Terror Threat Snapshot  
  • Salute: New Jersey Special Olympics in Sussex County


Updating Electronic and Online Privacy

Nearly 30 years ago, Congress passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 to provide a balance between the privacy expectations of American citizens and the legitimate needs of law enforcement agencies. The law sets forth a system to protect the privacy rights of customers and subscribers of computer network service providers and governs requests to obtain stored content, records, or other information, which includes stored emails, text or instant messages, documents, videos, or sound recordings stored in the cloud.

There is genuine consensus that ECPA is outdated and contains insufficient protections for Americans’ privacy. For example, the law was written long before email became a part of Americans’ everyday lives and currently allows the government to access email that is 180 days old or older without a warrant.

This week, the House passed the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 387) which updates and strengthens the ECPA.

With this update, law enforcement officials will need to obtain a warrant before accessing people’s emails, among its other provisions. This update is a step in the right direction of modernizing laws and standards that reflect a 21st Century, America where we feel more secure in our private information.

For more information on H.R. 387, click here.

Talking Business with Morris County Business

It was great to attend the Morris Chamber of Commerce 96th Annual Meeting Luncheon earlier today.  I had the opportunity to speak to many businessmen and women about our efforts in Congress to provide relief to Americans hurt by years of overreach and overregulation and loosen the chokehold of aggressive Obama-era regulations. Our goal is to free up America’s entrepreneurs to invest and create jobs.

We also talked about out the House’s plans to enact revenue neutral tax reform to lower tax rates on both the individual side of the tax code and the business side of the tax code in order to get our economy moving again.

Thanks to Celegene CEO Robert Hugin for a great keynote address on innovation. Congratulations to Delta Dental President Dennis Wilson, this year’s winner of the Chamber’s William Huber Award for Outstanding Community Leadership.

February Terror Threat Snapshot

The security of our Homeland has been very much in the headlines these days as the President and Congress begin to take steps to close our porous borders, correct failed immigration policies, and meet a grave and growing terror threat. 

We created the Department of Homeland Security years ago to protect America and secure our nation’s borders.  As a nation, control of our borders is paramount. Without that control, every other form of threat—illicit drugs, unauthorized immigrants, international organized crime, certain dangerous communicable diseases, terrorists—could enter at will.

So the threat is real.  To quantify the nature of the peril, the House Committee on Homeland Security just released its Terror Threat Snapshot for February. 

A few key points:

  • Although ISIS faces continued counterterrorism pressure in its key safe havens, the group’s external operations plotting appears undiminished. This year opened with a deadly ISIS-linked attack on a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey, leaving 39 dead and demonstrating the terror group’s continued ability to inspire and organize major attacks.
  • European nations are moving forward with counterterrorism reforms designed to cope with the surging terror threat. Yet despite improvements, the continent still suffers from major security weaknesses that make European countries more vulnerable to attack and put U.S. interests overseas at risk.
  • On the home front, ISIS and radical Islamist ideology may have played a part in inspiring an attack on travelers at a Ft. Lauderdale airport by Esteban Santiago, a mentally disturbed gunman who has been charged with murdering five people in the attack.

You can review the Committee’s Terror Snapshot here.

The New York Times is reporting today on arrests of suspected terrorists in Europe.  Read “4 in France, Including 16-Year-Old Girl, Held in Bomb Plot” here and read “2 Arrested in Central Germany on Suspicion of Plotting Attack” here.

Salute: Congratulations to all who participated and supported the Special Olympic New Jersey Games in Sussex County this week.  Throughout the year, Special Olympics provides opportunities for adults and children with intellectual disabilities to train and compete in an Olympic-type atmosphere in both winter sports as well as spring, summer and fall sports including aquatics, basketball, golf, track and field, and more. This week’s events, with athletes spanning age groups from school-age to senior citizen, completed competitions in alpine and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoe racing.

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