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Court Rules Feds Could Not Seize Stored e-mails

     
8:33 am on Jun 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A court rules that e-mails deserve the same 4th Amendment protections as telephone calls.

A federal appeals court has reaffirmed that principle by ruling that e-mail messages stored by an Internet service provider deserve the same privacy protections as the contents of telephone calls. In both situations, the legal touchstone is the same: whether users of a communications service have a "reasonable expectation of privacy."

Essentially upholding a lower court's injunction growing out of a fraud investigation, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that federal investigators could not seize stored e-mails, even with a court order, "without providing the relevant account holder or subscriber prior notice and an opportunity to be heard." (If it can be shown that the subscriber had no expectation of privacy, only the ISP would have to be informed.) The decision offers protections for e-mails that extend beyond those in a law known as the Stored Communications Act.

Court Rules Feds Could Not Seize Stored e-mails [latimes.com]

7:38 pm on June 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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(If it can be shown that the subscriber had no expectation of privacy, only the ISP would have to be informed.)

That's the funny one, so if you ever posted your doubts on whether a mail service could keep your mail private or not then the US Gov can seize your mail without asking... Nice.
1:10 am on June 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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If someone sets up an email account using false information is he/she suggesting they have no "reasonable expectation of privacy?" If they thought their emails would always be private, why set up the account with false information...

Just wondering if false account information might be used as a way to seize stored emails.

 

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