The Email Privacy Act passes the House of Representatives

May 4, 2016

Last week, the House of Representatives voted 419-0 to pass the Email Privacy Act [H.R. 699] which would require the government to obtain a search warrant based on probable cause to obtain the contents of Americans’ private email and other electronic communications (like private Facebook and Twitter messages) when those communications are requested from a third-party service provider.  Rep. Levin was an original cosponsor of this bipartisan legislation.

United States Vietnam War Commemoration
The U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration recognizes the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The objectives of the commemoration are simple but crucial. Commemoration partners dedicate themselves to thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, highlight the service of the Armed Forces during the war, and pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States. Rep. Levin joined as a partner of the commemoration in mid-April to further his work thanking veterans of the Vietnam War. The commemoration provides Vietnam War Veterans with small tokens of thanks such as a lapel pin to be worn by veterans.  Please call Kyle Pollet at 586-498-7122 for further information.

Avoid e-mail phishing attempts – The IRS will never email you
There has been a surge in e-mail scams this year that appear to be from a tax agency or a tax software company. The emails are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking these are official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies. E-mails can seek information related to refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information. Never reply to emails, texts or pop-up messages asking for your personal, tax, or financial information.

One common trick by criminals is to impersonate a business such as your financial institution, tax software provider or the IRS, asking you to update your account and providing a link. For small business, these schemes may try impersonating a company leader and request payroll and human resource information for employees in your company. Never click on links even if they seem to be from organizations you trust. Go directly to the organization’s website.

If you see an email that says ‘The IRS has a refund waiting for you,’ odds are high that it is a phishing attempt looking to get your personal information.  Call Rep. Levin’s office at 586-498-7122 if you are having a problem getting your refund, or if you have been a victim of fraud and require assistance.

House Approve Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Last week the House approved legislation to codify the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GRLI) which focuses on five major Great Lakes ecosystem problems: cleaning up the Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC), fighting invasive species, targeting nearshore nonpoint pollution, restoring habitat and protecting wildlife, and promoting environmental education and partnerships.  The legislation authorizes the GLRI at $300 million per year through 2020. This is the same amount that Rep. Levin and a bipartisan group of fifty-five lawmakers requested that the House Appropriations Committee allocate to the program this year.

“The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act will allow this successful program to continue the critical work being done in Michigan and throughout the Great Lakes region. We’ve seen the impact that GLRI has had with the cleanup of the Clinton River Watershed. ” said Rep. Levin.