|Proposed New U.S. Law Gives Authorities Access To Your email Without Warrant|
That seems a little over the top, imho.
|CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans' e-mail, is scheduled for next week. |
Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies -- including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission -- to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge. (CNET obtained the revised draft from a source involved in the negotiations with Leahy.)
An "expectation of privacy" is a general guideline for the courts when establishing whether or not a warrant is required. Fundamentally, I can understand this law as the Supreme Court has generally ruled that "expectation of privacy" extends to a home, business, person and vehicle, safe deposit box, etc. However, email and cloud storage in itself is not secure and should not have the same "expectation of privacy" as other things. I would compare it to the Supreme Court's ruling on garbage, once it is out of the house, it is fair game. I am not saying the legislation is right or fair, but there is precedence.
Is that "expectation" on the part of someone who knows how things work, or "expectation" on the part of an ordinary human?
|Is that "expectation" on the part of someone who knows how things work, or "expectation" on the part of an ordinary human? |
Actually, on the part of the ordinary human. And usually "reasonable" is before "expectation."
I think even an ordinary human does not reasonably expect emails and such to be secure or private, even if that is their intention (See Gen. Petraeus' current scandal). Even putting a disclaimer on an email saying "This is intended for the recipient..." is basically meaningless as they generally appear after the content of the email and they are not legally binding in most areas. I would also speculate that most TOS, regarding services on or via the net, do not guarantee security and or privacy. Seriously, how can they.
This means you should either a) operate your own personal email servers like I do or b) use 3rd party email from foreign countries outside of US jurisdiction. Simple.
the actual wording in the 4th Amendment is:
|The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches... |
i'm pretty sure by any reasonable definition, your email should fall under "papers, and effects"
I have always wondered why email went from meaning simply my own personal correspondence transmitted by a means other than a human on foot and in a vehicle -- snail mail -- to something that was not mine. People are not allowed to open my snail mail without a judge saying it's okay, yes? In the United States, I mean.
How in Heaven's name did electronic mail become 'Non-private Mail'? I've never gotten my head around that transformation.
I am so relieved to see discussions like this. There are other places on the Net where discussions like this are labelled as being discussed by people out of touch with reality. Or demented. Unreasonable.
I just don't understand where the idea of privacy was dropped in this whole Internet business. I view it as some lawmakers some twenty years ago weren't paying attention and now it's catch up time and they are so far behind!
|I just don't understand where the idea of privacy was dropped in this whole Internet business. |
Unlike snail mail, which is wrapped, sealed and not visible to the naked eye, email is transferred in plain text and most often stored in plain text and can be easily viewed by anyone with server access.
If you want email to be secure send it encrypted instead of plain text.
Simple as that.
|and can be easily viewed by anyone with server access |
And this is something that an ordinary human would reasonably be expected to know? I think some of us have differing perceptions of what constitutes an ordinary human.
If you send snail mail to or from an area with high humidity, the envelope might well be unsealed by the time it arrives. But you will not get far if you argue that you weren't tampering with the mails because the letter was just sitting there for anyone to slip it out, read it and pop it back into the envelope.
|But you will not get far if you argue that you weren't tampering with the mails because the letter was just sitting there for anyone to slip it out, read it and pop it back into the envelope. |
I think Bill was closer to the heart of the issue in his previous comment:
|This means you should either a) operate your own personal email servers like I do |
If your e-mail resides on a server that's not under your ownership or control it could be reasonably argued that it belongs to the owner of said server, who in turn can do whatever they want with it, or whatever they're ordered to do with it by some governmental entity.
To quote Rear Admiral Grace Hopper: It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.
Wouldn't some of this, like that former CIA fella, have to do with your public profile and job, like a job that impacts the well-being of a nation, for example?
What law was it that protected that Sarah lady from Alaska that had her email account hacked into?
But getting back to an ordinary fella/gal that hasn't broken any law and is not in the eye of a law enforcement group -- don't they have some protection from snoopers, government or otherwise?