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.