Feds Need A Warrant To Search Email

from the well-that's-nice dept

Remember just last week we were looking at a court case that was trying to work out whether social networking messages were more private than email? Well, now a federal appeals court has strengthened the privacy of good old email as well. It turns out that federal investigators need to obtain a warrant before they can go snooping through your email. Many people probably assumed that was already the case, but the Justice Department felt differently about the matter -- and now have had both a lower court and an appeals court disagree. Of course, there will likely be another appeal, so this may end up in front of the Supreme Court eventually. However, in the meantime, it looks like at least some courts are recognizing that email users should have an expectation of privacy when it comes to their communications.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 4:17am

    Gonzales is ass covering

    Because the NSA snooping almost certainly grabbed the contents of all the email. If he can argue that email has no privacy rights then he hasn't committed a crime.

    It's all about staying out of jail for these guys now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 6:14am

    Actually, I assumed they monitored every bit of it.

    I think the NSA has invested too much in data centers, like those within AT&T's campus to just 'stop' reading emails...

    Of course, it may not be admissible in court until they get a warrant, but it's not like they are going to stop.

    Rights? Who needs those anyway, huh?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    SPR, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 6:27am

    Re: Gonzales is ass covering

    "It's all about staying out of jail for these guys now.
    "
    Who are you kiding, they won't go to jail for that, they just won't be able to use it as evidence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Greg S., Jun 19th, 2007 @ 6:41am

    It's about time

    It's about time that the legislative process has caught up in its understanding of the fundamental importance of e-mail as a communication tool. Now, finally, with this protection, though I'm sure it will be challenged by President Bush's cronies, e-mail can finally move past one of its greatest challenges.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Greg S., Jun 19th, 2007 @ 6:42am

    It's about time

    It's about time that the judiciary process has caught up in its understanding of the fundamental importance of e-mail as a communication tool. Now, finally, with this protection, though I'm sure it will be challenged by President Bush's cronies, e-mail can finally move past one of its greatest challenges.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Jun 19th, 2007 @ 7:22am

    they need a warrant for it to be admissible in cou

    they will totally snoop everything they can before getting a warrant. in the industry that's called a fishing expedition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 7:59am

    FISA

    "Who are you kiding, they won't go to jail for that, they just won't be able to use it as evidence."

    NSA getting a direct tap off SF Internet for their Narus box is a violation of FISA. Every US Congressmans emails is included in that tap. Someone will go down for it.

    Gonzales is not liked by his own party, so he's prime candidate for the fall guy/Oliver North/Lynndie England role.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Carmelo Lisciotto, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 9:24am

    Email-Warrants

    In the uneasy days of over-compliance this is a good thing.


    Carmelo Lisciotto

    www.carmelolisciotto.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 3:26pm

    Encrypt Your EMail

    Not that it will stop them from reading it, but will make them work harder to get at it. If everyone did that, they would spend too much time decoding everything and be days/weeks behind the traffic flow they capture. Give em H311!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    rose, Aug 31st, 2007 @ 8:40am

    i care

    RTTGFJK

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Rwolf, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:51pm

    So government without a warrant need only allege they relied on SCA in good faith to seize and use a Citizens' email as (evidence) against them in court.

    The Obama government wants the FBI to conduct warrant-less searches of all Internet Activity. Police too easily can take an innocent personís hastily written email, fax or phone call out of context to allege a crime or violation was committed to cause an arrest or civil asset forfeiture. There are more than 200 laws and violations that can subject property to government asset forfeiture. Information the FBI derives from e.g. no warrant spying on email communications can be used in court and/or lead to subpoenas to collect evidence against Americans to prosecute any crime, circumventing the Forth Amendment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This