The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 was created to deal with telephone records not email, so the new proposed Email Privacy Act clarifies what email is, but did change the ECPA much since it “does not require authorities to notify users that a warrant has been obtained to review their electronic communications.” Also the Email Privacy Act does require search warrants to review electronic communications older than 180 days which was not in the ECPA. As well InformationWeek pointed out:
The Email Privacy Act also makes a distinction between commercial public content, such as advertisements, and content sent to an individual or select group, such as email.
In the meantime to get a difference perspective on the ECPA and Email Privacy Act you might want to check out my April 18, 2016 blog “Are US Privacy Laws Unconstitutional? We’ll find out in Microsoft’s new suit against the US Government!”
Even though the Email Privacy Act passed unanimously there is no exact predictability about what the Senate may do.