IRS Says It Will Change Its Policy On Looking At Emails Without A Warrant... At Some Point
from the good-idea,-though-a-bit-late dept
You may recall a couple weeks ago the discovery that the IRS believed that it did not need a warrant to view emails over 180 days old. That got a fair bit of attention, and recently, Senator Wyden asked the IRS about this.
And, almost immediately, the IRS folded, kind of. In response to Wyden's question about dropping the policy, the IRS's acting commissioner, Steven Miller, said that he "intends" to drop the policy... though he wouldn't give a date on when he'd drop the policy. Senator Wyden asks him to commit to a 30 day deadline to drop the policy, and Miller says he'll try his best and suggests he should be able to drop the policy by then, but does not commit to it. Also, he seems to indicate that the IRS has not used this ability (to the "best of my knowledge") -- and he also says that the IRS has not and cannot seek private info from Twitter and Facebook, but that it will use public info from those services. Of course, it makes you wonder why they had this policy in the first place. And, further, it seems ridiculous that it took until the info became public and seemed embarrassing that they decided to drop it -- but, at least, in the end, they're moving away from the practice, at some point.