A homeless couple was threatened with arrest by City of Miner police officers for nothing more than peaceably holding a sign that read “Traveling. Anything helps. God bless.” Today the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri (ACLU-MO) filed a lawsuit on their behalf.
“Being homeless is already hard enough without having to worry about the possibility of being arrested,” said Brandalyn Orchard. “We rely on the kindness of strangers, and should not have to fear legal repercussions for simply asking for help.”
On Dec. 5, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri is joining a nationwide day of action calling for reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the law that says the government can access your email and documents in the cloud without a warrant.
ECPA is one of the Internet’s most outdated laws – it was enacted in 1986, before most people had access to a home computer or email. While the public has been rightfully outraged over reports that the NSA accesses communications without a warrant, ECPA says that hundreds of other government agencies—like the IRS, FBI, and DEA, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies—can access many of our stored emails, private social media messages, and documents in the cloud without getting a warrant from a judge. The law flies directly in the face of our Fourth Amendment values.