Skip to comments.Judges OK warrantless monitoring of Web use
Posted on 07/09/2007 6:36:26 AM PDT by BGHater
Privacy rules don't apply to Internet messages, court says
Federal agents do not need a search warrant to monitor a suspect's computer use and determine the e-mail addresses and Web pages the suspect is contacting, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.
In a drug case from San Diego County, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco likened computer surveillance to the "pen register" devices that officers use to pinpoint the phone numbers a suspect dials, without listening to the phone calls themselves.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of pen registers in 1979, saying callers have no right to conceal from the government the numbers they communicate electronically to the phone companies that carry their calls.
Federal law requires court approval for a pen register. But because it is not considered a search, authorities do not need a search warrant, which would require them to show that the surveillance is likely to produce evidence of a crime.
They also do not need a wiretap order, which would require them to show that less intrusive methods of surveillance have failed or would be futile.
In Friday's ruling, the court said computer users should know that they lose privacy protections with e-mail and Web site addresses when they are communicated to the company whose equipment carries the messages.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
Ninth U.S. Circuit Court
Thats all I need to hear.
Well, here’s one good reason to run your own mail server... :-)
I read y-day that the 9th circuit had an 82% reversal rate on decisions (I think 18 of 22 decisions were reversed on appeal).
You’ll rarely find anything more left wing, liberal and downright bizarre than the 9th circuit court.
BBS technology may be old but it is not obsolete, and this ruling shows it has held its value well over the years.