Warrant Needed to Get Your E-Mail

Posted by: Russell Hebets       17-Dec-2010       (0) Comments        Back to Main Blog

Criminal defense attorneys in Denver are applauding a recent decision of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that indicates the government must obtain a court warrant to require internet service providers to turn over stored e-mail to the authorities. The decision was the first time an appellate court said Americans had Fourth Amendment protection relating to emails. According to the Court, “The government may not compel a commercial ISP to turn over the contents of a subscriber’s e-mails without first obtaining a warrant based on probable cause.

The decision stemmed from a fraud investigation of Enzyte founder Steven Warshak, where the government obtained thousands of his e-mails from his ISP without a warrant. The court ruled that, “The Fourth Amendment must keep pace with the inexorable march of technological progress, or its guarantees will wither and perish.”

To read more, see Wired.com article, image by The U.S. National Archives [Flickr]

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