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E-mail privacy gets a win in court

by Jeremy L. Gaddis on June 24, 2007 · 0 comments

in Off-topic

From Time:

In a startling decision this week, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati ordered the feds to keep their mitts off e-mail stored with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) like Yahoo! unless they notify the sender first or show that he doesn’t consider the e-mail private. The ruling was based on the conclusion that most people think e-mail, like letters or phone conversations, is private, and protected under the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable government searches and seizures.

That seems a pretty fair conclusion, but the amazing thing is that no court has ever reached it before. In other words, we’ve been living under a legal regime that essentially assumes we don’t much care if, say, Alberto Gonzales sees our e-mails after they leave our outbox. So for a federal appeals court to upend that regime is a big deal, as experts like Professor Orin Kerr at George Washington University Law School will tell you.

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This is awesome…

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