Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Warrant Needed to Get Your E-Mail, Appeals Court Says

David Kravets writes on Threat Level:

The government must obtain a court warrant to require internet service providers to turn over stored e-mail to the authorities, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was the first time an appellate court said American’s had that Fourth Amendment protection.

“The government may not compel a commercial ISP to turn over the contents of a subscriber’s emails without first obtaining a warrant [.pdf] based on probable cause,” the appeals court ruled. The decision, one stop short of the Supreme Court, covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

Kevin Bankston, a privacy attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, applauded the decision.

“I expect e-mail providers across the country will comply with this,” he said in a telephone interview.

More here.


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