TITLE

RECONCILING PRIVACY WITH PROGRESS: FOURTH AMENDMENT PROTECTION OF E-MAIL STORED WITH AND SENT THROUGH A THIRD-PARTY INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER

AUTHOR(S)
Cady, Spencer S.
PUB. DATE
September 2012
SOURCE
Drake Law Review;Fall2012, Vol. 61 Issue 1, p225
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
E-mail is increasingly becoming a common tool in modern society to communicate personal thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Despite the highly private nature of personal e-mail, Congress currently permits government agents to gain access to stored e-mail based upon a standard that falls short of the explicit protections provided by the Fourth Amendment. As personal e-mail progresses as a common method of communication, it must be given adequate privacy protections. In 2010, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Warshak found that a reasonable expectation of privacy exists in personal e-mail being sent through or held with a third-party commercial Internet Service Provider. The court in Warshak used a traditional Fourth Amendment analysis of telephone communications and postal mail to find a privacy interest in stored e-mail. The Warshak decision was a big step forward for the constitutional protection of e-mail, and it provided a strong judicial framework for other courts to follow. In order to ensure individuals are adequately protected against unwarranted governmental intrusions into private e-mail accounts, Congress must follow the judicial standards of Warshak and draft well-delineated statutes to adequately protect one of the most common communication methods in modern society.
ACCESSION #
84643636

 

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