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Legislation in the House that would end the warrantless searches of email records is gaining steam.

Privacy advocates had grown frustrated in recent months as Senate legislation that would curtail the email powers of law enforcement was thrown off track amid revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.

But they are increasingly optimistic that an update to the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) — which allows law enforcement agencies to obtain things like emails without a warrant if they have been stored electronically for more than 180 days — could see action in the House.

The Email Privacy Act from Reps. Kevin Yoder (R-Kans.), Tom Graves (R-Ga.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) has 181 co-sponsors in the House, and the authors are “still pushing to get more,” according to a Yoder spokesman.

“There’s a lot of growing support for that bill,” said Mark Stanley of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “A lot of members of Congress see this as a common sense thing.”

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