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Jill Kelley leaves her home on Nov. 13, 2012. Chris O Jill Kelley leaves her home on Nov. 13, 2012. Chris O'Meara/AP Photo.  

Jill Kelley calls on Congress for stronger electronic privacy protections

Speaking out for the first time since her name was in the news relating to former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus’ affair, Jill Kelley is asking Congress to consider stronger electronic privacy protections against law enforcement.

She — along with her husband, Scott Kelley — penned an opinion piece in The Washington Post on Tuesday denying the allegations made about her and her role in the scandal, and criticizing the handling of the story by both law enforcement and the media.

“We have experienced how careless handling of our information by law enforcement and irresponsible news headlines endanger citizens’ privacy,” the couple wrote, calling their story “a cautionary tale.”The couple also lamented their loss of privacy, and the fear their daughters experienced through all the media attention.”The breach of civil liberties we experienced never needed to happen,” the Kelleys wrote.”That is why, as Congress considers the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, lawmakers should consider what access to and disclosure of private e-mails of law-abiding citizens will be allowed, and what safeguards should be in place,” they said.Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has already named privacy one of the top issues his committee will focus on in the new legislative session. In the House, Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte — chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet — has also made privacy issues a priority.

“We know our lives will never be the same, and we want to prevent others from having their privacy invaded merely for reporting abusive, potentially criminal, behavior,” the Kelleys wrote.”That is why we believe Congress must consider how the rights that we carefully safeguard in other forms deserve equal protection in this age of digital communication,” they said.

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