Glide Underground

E-mail privacy in court

Articles / Personal Stuff/Random News
Date: Jun 25, 2007 - 10:00 AM
TIME covers the recent legal decisions on privacy and email: if these decisions continue, it could be a very good thing. Privacy rights have been vanishing at an alarming rate in recent years.

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.

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