Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Warshak v. USA

"Court Protects Email from Secret Government Searches
The government must have a search warrant before it can secretly seize and search emails stored by email service providers, according to a landmark ruling Monday in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court found that email users have the same reasonable expectation of privacy in their stored email as they do in their telephone calls -- the first circuit court ever to make that finding."
clipped from

Sixth Circuit issues opinion upholding district court's injunction against secret warrantless seizures of email

In Warshak v. USA, EFF is fighting to make sure that your email is as
safe against government intrusion as your phone calls, postal mail, or
the private papers you keep in your home.

This case was brought by Steven Warshak to stop the government's
repeated secret searches and seizures of his stored email using the
federal Stored Communications Act (SCA). In a landmark ruling, the
district court held that the SCA violates the Fourth Amendment by
allowing secret, warrantless searches and seizures of email stored
with a third party.

The government, which has routinely used the SCA over the past 20
years to secretly obtain stored email without a warrant, appealed the
decision to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. That court is now
primed to be the first circuit court ever to decide whether email
users have a "reasonable expectation of privacy" in their stored

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